Consumed by Consumerism: The World According to Laurie Hogin
Monkeys are allegorical stand-ins for humans in my work, and represent (as monkeys have in the history of paintings, and as modern neuroscience is affirming) the unconscious, primate tendencies that play out in cultural phenomena. The color is also iconic; red often representing frenzy or anger, and the slot car decals are references to the way competitive rage often finds expression in symbolic objects of entertainment, play and hobby.
Laurie Hogin’s large-scale allegorical oil paintings of a mutated natural world raise issues of consumerism, sexism, and environmental degradation. Rendered in a hyper-realistic style reminiscent of 17th-century Dutch masters, neon-colored animals populate overgrown landscapes, or pose as the subject of a portrait, for instance holding a bubble-wand (The Bubble, 2008). In her well-known painting Allegory of the Free Market (1997), deer-like creatures sporting tiger stripes and leopard spots—one with a banner reading “laissez-faire” tied to its oversized antlers—frantically race down a hillside beneath an ominously smoky sky. “These creatures in the painting have become rampant because of free market policies,” she explains. “Unregulated use of land has resulted in the destruction of predator habitat. One species becomes unbalanced, in a sense, and overruns everything.”
American, b. 1963