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John Salvest

Artist Statement Submitted 2019

Sometimes it seems I am witnessing the fall of the American Empire, prompting me to follow a long tradition of artists acknowledging, through their work, perceived shortcomings of the societies of their times. The national debt and trade deficit; prescription drug abuse by patient and physician alike; real and imagined discriminatory practices of law enforcement; the accelerated and inflammatory cycle of broadcast news as the measured pace of newspapers slowly disappears; less environmental protection due to deregulated consumption of natural resources; and a brewing civil war to be fought over the second amendment, reproductive rights or the limits of presidential power are some of the issues pulling us apart. Rather than choosing sides, I try to play the part of detached observer, maintaining my distance through humor and irony. Although these concerns transcend any one region, an observation deck in the American South arguably provides a more amplified perspective on our divisions.

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