John Deer

by

Mary Kate Barkley

7"x12" assemblage

$350

Kitsch is definitely my niche. For quite some time my artwork has been reasonably gaudy, but about a year ago I adopted a new way of thinking that has spiraled my work into a whole new level of tackiness. What would Grandma do?

Whatís tackier than the inside of Grandmaís doublewide? Well, nothing, but it is my personal goal to create work that is just as garish as an old ladyís crocheted baby doll dress. Thereís one problem though, Iím not old. That means Iím not a big fan of the country ducks theme, and Iím not into embroidering rep-offs of the ďPrecious MomentsĒ characters. While I will sometimes add silk flowers to my work, my use of googly eyes is a little more unconventional then what you will find at your average craft show in the mall.

The series of assemblages I have been creating for the past year is made, with a few minor exceptions, entirely from items purchased at Walmart. Their arts and crafts section doesnít have much to offer, but I find that to be both a challenge and an aid. I am assured that when I am done shopping I will have very little that could be used in a tasteful and conservative manner.

I like to make people smile. I accomplish that by creating whimsical work with absurd, happy images. I almost always get a laugh. Even though my color choices are excessively bright, and my subject matter is sometimes a it off the wall, there is always at least a hint of Grandmaís poor taste in each of my pieces.