Wyoming Arts Council

Worland artist influenced by Norman Rockwell magazine covers and life in the Big Horn Basin

“Young American Girl & Her Old Habits,” oil and enamel on panel, 24″x48″

The Wyoming Arts Council’s biennial fellowship exhibit will be on display Nov. 5-Jan. 9 at the Wyoming State Museum in Cheyenne. Opening reception will be on Thursday, Nov. 5, 4:30-6:30 p.m. at the museum. The event is free and open to the public.

The opening is just a week away. Wyomingarts will feature artist statements and a sample of each artist’s work. Today we look at Worland artist David Henderson.

Artist Statement: David Henderson

My work is the exploration of humankind’s inherent self-destructive tendencies and the manner in which we sublimate our violent nature. I am also interested in the laws of attraction and the symbiotic relationships between people and their possessions and their environments, from the absurd and mundane to the absolute and imperfect. It is with these interests that I’ve approached the historic theme of pursuing the American Dream in a continuing series of paintings.

Inspired by the nostalgic and iconic imagery of Norman Rockwell’s Saturday Evening Post cover illustrations depicting American life, I spent the summer of 2008 painting interpretations of the American Dreams of my Worland coworkers, friends, relatives and their children. Two of those paintings are “Self Portrait in Pursuit of the American Dream” and “Young American Girl & Her Old Habits.”

The process led me to this conclusion: For many Americans contending with the callous reality of such issues as economic recession, globalization, terrorism, foreign war, and wild technological advancements, the American Dream is an ethereal tool for survival.

I would like to continue this examination.

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