Peter Sarkisian, ‘Cup'a Joe’, 2011, Jonathan Ferrara Gallery

Work ships with custom powder-coated aluminum wall mount display system, as well as all required equipment.

In this work, Sarkisian has created an allegory for the death of 1950ʼs American idealism and the middle class that came to represent it. As a cup of coffee sits on a modernist Formica countertop in a bustling American diner, a suited man named Joe floats face down in his Java, apparently dead. Nearby a waiter is heard calling Joeʼs name and complaining that he never paid for his coffee, a fact made evident by the presence of an unpaid check left sitting beside the oversized mug. The abandoned cup of coffee turned watery grave is a far cry from images typically associated with the national beverage, which, even in depression era America was marketed as an escape from the cold and hunger of a bankrupt nation. Thus, the hopeful idealism of the American middle class dies with Joe, the iconic and affluent “everyman”, who came to symbolize the American dream.

About Peter Sarkisian

American, b. 1965, Glendale, California, based in Santa Fe, New Mexico

Solo Shows

2013
Zadok Gallery, 
Miami,
videoMorphic