Preview: Fintan Magee "The Big Dry" @ Thinkspace Gallery
August 2017 cover artist Fintan Magee is one of the world's leading social realist muralists, and has been able to take his socially conscious work and translate it to different communities around the world, from Aberdeen to Sydney. Fintan Magee has been working on a new series of paintings, The Big Dry, that will premier at Thinkspace in Los Angeles on June 2, 2018, and he shared with us 3 new works today and a statement on the development of the series.
"Morning after morning in city after city, contractors as well as homeowners needing an extra hand or two drive up to their local Home Depot to hire laborers to paint walls, nail down roofing or trim branches, usually for $8 to $10 an hour. Not only has this caused friction between the stores and neighboring businesses and homeowners who do not want the men around, but it has also spurred nationwide debate about what to do about these workers, the majority of them illegal immigrants from Mexico and Central America.
This work presents the White Picket Fence as a symbol of the American dream and white middle class suburban living, a monument to American opulence that stands as a divider between the rich and the poor. Acting as a metaphor for the ‘build a wall’ mentality of the Trump era.
The United States is a country built on the hard work of immigrants and when I first visited Los Angeles and saw the day labourers working in suburban gardens I remember wondering how many of them had installed white picket fences. The juxtaposition of Workers painted onto these wooden palings aims to highlight the role of immigrant labor in building the modern USA while asking a simple question, ‘who built the American dream?'" —Fintan Magee
Click here to read our cover story with Fintan Magee from August 2017.