Steven Gagnon - 1866-4-US-flag
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Artworks2-D Artworks • See the U.S.A.

See the U.S.A.
2010
Collage on shaped wood panel
47 x 67.5 x 0.75 inches (119.4 x 171.5 x 1.9 cm)
Still Available

Since the 2007/2008 economic downturn and the bankruptcy of GM and Chrysler Corporations, I was inspired to create a series of artworks that would conjure up memories of better days. The American automobile from 1950s thru the1970s was the product of a country that was enjoying immense industrial and economic prosperity. This was an era when the United States became efficiently interlinked with federal highways and the automobile became a symbol of an individual s prosperity, freedom, and an expression of one s personality. Automotive design reached it s zenith as car styles changed yearly and new models were often introduced for each segment of the population. In attempt to capture this spirit and examine this period, I have been investigating the role of the American automobile in United States culture.

The purpose of a car is transportation. However in this period, travel is more than getting to a destination, it becomes an end in itself. In the 1950s, a new interstate system was being built that opened up the country and enabled more Americans to travel to beautiful and exotic places around the country in their automobiles for merely pleasure. So the inspiration to create See the U.S.A. collage was to depict the spectacular scenic vistas and interesting sites across the land that the car enabled people to see at that time while being presented all in one picture. So by using actual postcards that date primarily from the 1940s and 1950s, my artwork See the U.S.A. is able to capture the energy, style, and feel of the era. So although an automobile is not pictured in the artwork, the work illustrates the adventure of a 48 state cross-country car trip.

The artwork is not square. The continental map of the United States has been cut out of wood so the piece is in shape of the country. As well, the postcards for each state are cut to fit the borders for that individual state on the map. So when you look at any one area, you are seeing the postcards for the state in that geographical area. So the postcards for each state actually make up the state as represented on the map.

Please note that there is no copyright notice in the actual artwork. The notice only appears on the photos of the artworks that I posted to my website.

See the U.S.A.