Andrew Barger

Living abroad allowed me to witness not only the enormous presence of a global American culture, but the forced identity that Americans wear. I navigate through regional stereotypes and legacies, historical ties, and artifacts of Americana to bridge gaps between individual identity and the larger understanding of American culture.

In my artistic practice, I create multi-media images and symbolic objects that contend with American identity.  My works contends the middle ground between the popular iconic and the true local as well as individuality and the American collective. With a particular interest in regionalism and being from the south myself, it is my duty to use visual communication to confront historical ties that continue to define identity.

In order to describe present American identity I explore the past. Old broadsides and banners of our cultural history inspire my aesthetic, the ephemeral of our visual culture. Rusted steel and weathered canvas allow room for American icons to become recollected perceptions and interpretations of the “now”.  I scavenge scraps of paper, prints, and proofs so as to include these vestiges in the utility of my practice.

My work presents these remnants as the assimilated collective memory of culture, but do these constructs and concepts define identity? What happens when that connection is gone or lost in translation? My images and objects deal with these questions of identity defined or undefined by culture.