Matthew Day Jackson
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- Matthew Day Jackson
- Gimme Shelter #3
- signed and titled on the reverse
- laser cut formica on wooden panel
- 122 by 91.5cm.; 48 by 36in.
- Executed in 2009.
The American dream is deeply rooted in the nineteenth century, when everyone in the New World enjoyed equal opportunities, the assurance of instant wealth, as long as you really did work hard. The dream was so powerful that the rest of the world could join in too. Over the past century the persuasive power of this dream has occasionally gotten out of hand and spilled over into violence. Matthew Day Jackson confronts Utopia failing in a visual way. He chooses culturally loaded images, like a cover of Life magazine of 1962 showing a mass shelter, and reproduces it in scorched wood. Jackson takes the viewer on a journey through a world in which the past and the present merge. As a genuine snapshot of the fear and obsession with mass shelters during the Cold War, it depicts life in that era like nothing else. It reflects a reality that was overwhelming at the time and has now been restaged, using highly improbable materials. Utopia healed and transformed into art. A new history in which facts cannot be distinguished from fiction and the American dream is reborn with irony.