For the past ten years, Philadelphia-based artist Kim Alsbrooks has been painting miniature portraits on flattened beers cans and fast food containers. Alsbrooks finds trash that has already been flattened on the street, and chooses a portrait to fit each specific piece of trash. She gessoes them, draws the image in graphite, paints with oils and varnishes. Generally, she depicts miniature portraits from the watercolor on ivory era (17th-18th century more or less).
Her series “My White Trash Family” began when she was living in the south and found herself frustrated with prevailing ideas of class. She expresses are dissatisfaction by essentially painting portraits of aristocrats and social elites on trash.
Alsbrooks statement reads: "The White Trash Series was developed while living in the South out of frustration with some of the prevailing ideologies, in particular, class distinction. This ideology seemed based on a combination of myth, biased history and bizarre sentimentality obout old wars and social structures. With the juxtaposition of the portraits from museums, once painted on ivory, now on flattened trash of beer cans and fast food, the artist sets to even the playing field, challenging the perception of the social elite in todays society."
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