American Portraits

 

 

American Portraits is a response to our current cultural & political division.

As an American boy, I grew up playing with the same little plastic toys as all the other boys I knew: soldiers, cowboys, Indians, astronauts and hot rods.

In retrospect, I see how our young imaginations were being groomed to glorify these icons of our history, our manufacturing prowess, and our promising future. Re-read that last sentence, because it sounds as though I am describing Communist propaganda. Our nation and its people have changed, and yet these same little plastic toys are still being sold in toy stores across the country today.

American Portraits is a series of images that make up a collective visual sense of self as derived from these very toys – the cultural icons from a national history that defines a sense of what it means to be American to an ever-smaller percentage of Americans.

 

American Portraits is cultural mythology, re-created.

 

1. Brave

 

2. American Pastoral

 

3. Cowboy

 

4. Columbia

 

 5. Infantry

 

6. Muscle

 

7. Moonshot

 

 

Why 7 images? Because that is how many fit on a Viewmaster stereo-optic reel.

I have produced a Viewmaster version of this series, showing the images in 3D. So cool. Of course, you need your own viewer for these, but it is a fucking great analog experience. The world just melts away when you bring your eyes up to a Viewmaster and set your imagination free.

These images are also great printed really LARGE on gloss photo paper, so I print & frame these images at 21″ square, with white wood frames. Or bigger. Your choice.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

MICHAEL ENDY

email michaelbeckerendy@gmail.com           instagram @instantjersey