Without You (2013)


This series of paintings explores a particular kind of dystopian film in which the protagonists are the survivors of a society that has recently undergone a radical transformation. The characters have to negotiate the trauma and loss of civilization along with whatever else is plaguing them. In some of these films there is a segment or montage, often in the second act, where the survivors explore this new abandoned landscape with excitement, wonder, and hope. I started to notice how it is these scenes that I remember and enjoy in these films. There are certain conventions: the consumerist and hedonistic frenzy where stores, malls, and houses are looted and enjoyed; the mastering of the post-apocalyptic urban landscape; and then, gradually, the pleasure of watching the natural world restore the human world. In the middle of the chaos and the horror, there is a hope for renewal.

I appropriated imagery from The Quiet Earth (1985), Dawn of the Dead (1978), Zombieland (2009), I am Legend (2007), Children of Men (2006), 28 Days Later (2002), and others.