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Reagan Herndon

We are faced with expectations every day from family, acquaintances, strangers, society, and even ourselves. However well meaning, this pressure, coupled with constant reminders and idealized versions of what life should be, shape us and our choices. I have come to learn that life is not always what you want or even what you expected. My paintings center on the board game, LIFE. Objects from the game such as cars, buildings, and cards are arranged to create various visual narratives.

 

Though I am communicating my own experiences, the works reference issues that I feel many viewers can relate to. For example, in the piece Settle Down a car is seen crashed into a church with a pink player thrown from the car. This painting depicts my frustration at the constant questions of “When are you getting married?” or “Do I hear wedding bells?” Through talking with my friends and peers I realized that many people can relate to this pressure and constant reminders that “You are not getting any younger.” The subject matter is mischievous and colorful to imply a lighthearted playfulness to real-life situations. When faced with pressure and tension, I often use humor, and my work does this as well. The humor from the visual narrative allows the viewer to engage with the work and the content without the tension and heaviness that serious matters can imply. Through the creation of these visual narratives, I have been able to confront these expectations of myself and I hope it allows viewers a chance to look at their own as well.

East Carolina University – BFA