The Last Storm (United States | 2014, 4 min)

Directed by: Jeanne Wilkinson

In 2006, I began documenting the continuing adventures of the Painted People, a Paleo-Postmodern migratory clan of former Barbies, Kens, GI Joes and their various companion animals. The clan has grown since the orginal six to now include children and many more creatures, coming from thrift shops, toy stores, Canal Street vendors, gifts and street trash. At my studio their old identities disappear as they are painted white and then covered in random abstract-expressionist-style drips in a pared-down Mondrian palette of red, yellow and blue. Each is individually marked but unmistakably one of the Painted People.

They go on voyages both “real” and virtual, trekking above and across an earth that reflects realms of premonition, celebration, environmental change (apocalypse?) and natural magic. For this piece I emptied out da Vinci’s “Last Supper” via digital means and inserted the Painted People in the iconic positions. Just as the “Last Supper” was a symbolic and culminating event, “Last Storm” evokes my feelings of a coming storm in our earthly environment that will mark an ending of life as we know it. I have subsituted a peace sign for the traitorous bag of coins – a bit of hope that’s easy to miss unless you look for it.