Young Country Artists presented by Maiza Hixson, DCCA Gretchen Hupfel Curator of Contemporary Art

Suki Anderson • Louisville, KY
Richard Campbell • Louisville, KY
A colloquial symbol around Derbytime in Louisville, decorative hats might allude to the wealth of those who can afford peel-and-eat shrimp and top-shelf Bloody Marys in Millionaire’s Row while cowboy hats could refer to people in the infield dining on beer, hot pretzels, and nachos.1 As of 2011, Derby seats range from around $5,000.00-$12,000.00 while infield tickets cost approximately $56.2 As any local will attest, the Derby underscores the continuing class divide in America. 

While not directly referencing the Kentucky Derby, Louisville-based artists and creative compatriots Richard Campbell and

Suki Anderson introduce horse-related themes, imagery, and absurdity into their work. Regarding his uncanny video, Horses Are Pretty, Campbell states, “The trauma nurse ER explains that she really likes horses and why she really likes horses by comparing horses to other things she likes, but she doesn't like anything as well as she likes horses...” Campbell also provided Anderson with the horse she used in her photographic series, Mr. Nibbles Likes to Wear Hats, which features the toy horse outfitted with several of Anderson’s felted hat designs. In an oblique way, Anderson’s work reminds one of the elaborate hats worn by women to the famous horse race every spring. The changing of each of Mr. Nibbles’ “hats”—from a bullseye to full elephant mask, suggests a bizarre compulsory tradition draped over a plastic doll.

 

Gonzo journalist and native Louisvillian Hunter S. Thompson acknowledged women and excess of infield culture in his irreverent treatise of 1970, “The Kentucky Derby is Decadent and Depraved.”” describes Regarding a man he met while reporting on the race, Thompson writes:

 

 

Jimbo had told me that he hasn't missed a Derby since 1954. ‘The little lady won't come anymore,’ he said. "She just grits her teeth and turns me loose for this one. And when I say 'loose' I do mean loose! I toss ten-dollar bills around like they were goin' outa style! Horses, whiskey, women. . . shit, there's women in this town that'll do anything for money.’ 3

 

 

Beyond Thompson’s salty look at Kentucky sporting life, Anderson’s whimsical portrayal and Campbell’s fantastic gaze, artist Joe Girandola shows horses in a humorously deadpan and grandiose light. Invoking a hybrid fine art and folk aesthetic, Girandola uses duct tape as a kind of modern American oil paint, playfully re-working the tradition of narrative painting. Originally having trained as a stone sculptor, Girandola found irony in carving timeless objects out of an already timeless material like marble. Eventually appropriating duct tape, Girandola would go on to depict not only horses but crumbling architectural icons like the Roman Colosseum and 1950s-style L.A. diners. His use of this relatively new material normally reserved as a “quick fix” for broken objects echoes ideas of cultural rise and fall inherent in his imagery.

 

Joseph Girandola • Cincinnati, OH
Horse Sense (Father and Son) centers around Girandola’s memories of his father and depicts an older and younger horse in a stable watching a horse race on TV together. An ordained Roman Catholic priest from Sicily who moved to America and was later excommunicated from the church for marrying, his father attended law school to attempt to clear his name after being arrested for bingo tournaments he organized at his newly founded church, offering Mass and communion to ex-communicated Catholics. He bought a horse whom he named Tony Double after his first-born son (Joe's oldest brother) and often took Joe out of elementary school to the horse track, which became a bonding ritual for the two, often ending with his father saying, "Don't tell your mother." Girandola’s childhood memories also include preparing many meals in the kitchen with his father and watching television, or, “America’s teacher” as he wryly describes it.

 

Girandola is further influenced by ideas of Italian identity, the philosophy of the game, the culture of gambling and how intrinsic machismo is to Italian culture. Regarding the role of moral and religious foundations of American cultural identity, the late sociologist Daniel Bell once wrote, “Crime as a growing business was fed by the revenues from prostitution, liquor, and gambling that a wide-open urban society encouraged and which a middle-class Protestant ethos tried to suppress with a ferocity unmatched in any other civilized country. Catholic cultures rarely have imposed such restrictions, and have rarely suffered such excesses…In America the enforcement of public morals has been a continuing feature of our history.”4

 

Seen in the context of ritual and recreation, for Girandola, horse racing could be considered a source of comfort. Yet, in his illustration of two horses watching a horse race on TV, and in light of the accompanying title, one detects the artist’s commentary on humanity and the subjugation of these horses. A timeless story told through duct tape, in this work, Girandola portrays both people and horses as winners and losers—glued to the screen and adherents to barbaric civilizations that force them to watch their own demise.

 

Badwaterjournal • Louisville, KY

A polluted by-product of empire, America’s dirty water occupies the cyberspace of one lone cowboy’s environmental website. Bud Hixson’s Badwaterjournal.com is devoted to exposing the underbelly of rampant commercial development in and around Kentucky. Addressing sources of water pollution, from storm water runoff, de-icing agents used on planes, oil drips on parking lots to sewage being discharged directly into the Ohio River and Beargrass Creek, Badwaterjournal.com is one environmentalist’s portrayal of this geographic region. Presenting an alternative to the clichéd portraits of Kentucky’s pastoral beauty that obscure the pervasive industrial exploitation of its natural resources, Badwaterjournal.com draws upon the Internet to expose the unsightly realities of local corruption and mismanagement of municipal waste. In contrast to the stereotype that environmental awareness cannot exist in Bourbon Country, Badwaterjournal.com’s principles of education and activism go beyond business as usual to initiate a new model of cyber-citizenship. Badwaterjournal “subverts the deliberate elevation of water pollution into the restricted realm of engineers and regulators, making it accessible to average folks.”5

 

 

Denise Burge • Cincinnati, OH

An artist who queries our romantic attachment to nature, Cincinnati-based artist Denise Burge references biblical Eden in her art. Pointing to the creative and destructive forces of human nature, Burge’s Untitled (2003) is a felted quilt with text that reads, “Eden is a grid all night dreaming of civilized swarms in putrefied creation of the highest star where we rock on.” While quilts have been incorporated into art since the mid twentieth century, Burge’s art often references deforestation and coalmining disasters such as coal slurry spills and mine explosions. As exemplified by the recent 2010 Upper Big Branch Mine disaster in West Virginia, mining remains a contemporary source of revenue for Appalachian families, despite the toll it takes on individual lives and communities.

 

Justin Colt Beckman • Ellensburg, WA

While Burge and Badwaterjournal.com present two divergent views of the environmental impact of commercial development on the natural world, Justin Colt Beckman explores the psychological impact of the city/country divide. Beckman states that his work is based around an investigation of the unique characteristics of small-town life as well as “ideas surrounding the urban/rural dichotomy and its associated stereotypes.” Having grown up in Louisville, Beckman currently lives and works in a small town in Central Washington. The two video works included in Young Country, Western Shootout and Honky Tonk, show Beckman performing as both cowboy under fire and authentic country lip syncher. Exploring aspects of rural identity, the artist constructs sets for his videos in which he assumes mythical personas that ultimately parody Hollywood portrayals. His work entertainingly critiques romantic and ill-conceived notions about “life on the open road” and “out in the sticks.”

 

As someone who is essentially a city boy with country boy tendencies, the creation of hillbilly tableaus has provided a shortcut around the exclusionary, generational requirements typically associated with rural activites…In the space of an exhibition my works become…a town of my own creation that rises happily and peacefully above the center of a long feud between urban and rural cultures…To me, sitting on the fence between urban and rural seems like a great place to be, even if it is a bit of a displaced nowhere. I feel no desire to poke fun at either side, nor do I really feel that I am able to jump off the fence and truly call either side “home.” So, it looks like forever I may stay, atop this fence with my gun, my iPod, and a cold can of Busch beer.6

 

 

SunTek Chung • New York City, NY

SunTek Chung is a Korean American who often assumes the role of central protagonist in his fictional tableaus that expose pejorative representations of both Asian American and Southern white cultural identity. Through satirical depiction and parody, in The South, The South, he disrupts the conventional reading of a gun-toting, Confederate “rube” by placing himself as the central figure in the scene. Performing and re-staging his identity, Chung confronts and de-familiarizes clichés of people living in rural areas through humor and wildly imaginative photographic sets.

 

As Chung reveals in his work, beer can be understood as a class symbol and many artists have incorporated the beverage into their artwork. In contrast to fine wine, beer traditionally signified “low brow” taste.

 

Keith Benjamin • Cleves, OH

Focusing on domestic beer and other types of pre-packaged food consumption in his artistic practice, Keith Benjamin constructs sculpture out of recycled beer and soymilk cartons. His small-scale cardboard replicas of barns bearing the triple XXX sign and confederate flag symbol reflect the artist’s view of rural exit towns from the highway near his hometown of Cincinnati. According to Benjamin, “I use food and beverage packaging from my household recycling bin to create structures and experiences that address the optimism required in daily life.” According to author Sandra Tsing Loh:

 

Back in 1983, (Paul) Fussell—author of the renowned book The Great War and Modern Memory—argued that although Americans loathe discussing social class, this relatively new, rugged country of ours did indeed have a British-style class system, if less defined by money than by that elusive quality called taste… the three “classes” in his (Fussell’s) opening primer conform to clichés we might think of as Old-Money WASP, Midwestern Insurance Salesman, and Southern Trailer Trash. The top classes, according to Fussell…drink Scotch on the rocks in a tumbler decorated with sailboats and say “Grandfather died”; Middles say “Martooni” and “Grandma passed away”; Proles drink domestic beer in a can and say “Uncle was taken to Jesus.7 Benjamin’s folk-inspired works whimsically address the beauty and harshness of the visual culture found in exit towns across southern Ohio.

 

 

Brian Nicely • Covington, KY

Beyond beer, Chung, Benjamin and Brian Nicely’s works prompt discussion surrounding what it means to live in areas physically imprinted by slavery and in many ways still grappling with its cultural impact. A Kentucky-based artist, Nicely’s The Message is a wall-mounted rope sculpture that spells out the phrase “Derrty South.” A reference to southern culture and hip hop, the artist notes:

 

The South has now become synonymous with both Country music and Hip Hop and in the early 2000’s, the lines became blurred as in the case of Big and Rich’s collaboration with Lil Jon, the rapping of Cowboy Troy, Trace Adkins’ “Honky Tonk Badonkadonk,” rappers Bubba Sparxxx and the Nappy Roots and ultimately the most iconic collaboration, Nelly and Tim McGraw. “The Message” is a down tempo early hip-hop song by Grand Master Flash and the Furious Five that explores the struggles and gritty urban life of the early 1980’s. In the present…both country and hip hop stake their claims as strictly American identities, and in the most American of ways, they struggle to co-exist and eventually absorb each other, to mixed reception.8

 

Nicely also examines Kentucky through its signage and state flags. www.kentuckyunbridledspirit.com, 2006, consists of multiple cardboard and balsa wood sculptures designed to look like log cabin timbers. The work borrows its name from the official Kentucky state website that is posted on the “Welcome to Kentucky” sign one commonly sees crossing the river into Ohio. Nicely states, “Although from the suburbs, I am still surrounded by the remnants of the frontier…with these homemade log ends, you can enhance the historical value of and add pioneer spirit to any structure.”

 

C. Grant Cox III • Newark, DE

Providing the rustic with a platform is also a pre-occupation of Delaware-based artist C. Grant Cox III, whose kinetic sculpture of cowboy boots marching like a marionette on a microphoned stage suggests a confluence of castes. Cox’s Tense Negotiations is a conceptual artwork that evokes a playful disregard for sophisticated fabrication. Cox states, “Tense Negotiations is an automaton that uses Western cinema theatrics of the saloon entrance. This scenario is a classic convention in Westerns that sets up the overall importance of the character approaching. Although the sound alludes to this scenario unfolding in front of us, what is quickly apparent is that it is a makeshift contraption that is harmless. As if it is the Wizard of Oz behind the curtain, it strikes a certain fear but quickly subsides into its ridiculousness.”

 

As a class, cowboys in American history were considered foulmouthed, blasphemous, drunken, lecherous, and utterly corrupt.9 Often romanticized macho male characters in Hollywood movies, as evidenced in Beckman and Cox’s work, cowboys drove cattle through trails out of Southern Texas to Northern points where they would be shipped in railroad cars to be sold in Eastern U.S. markets. In contrast to the cowboy, cowgirl history is less known and documented. A modern trailblazer, Sarah Lyon’s desire to ride along the open road led her to take motorcycle trips across the U.S. Describing her sculpture of bronze boots on view in Young Country, Lyon states, “Originally purchased new at an army store in Seattle in 2000, I wore the same pair of motorcycle boots on four cross country motorcycle trips between the summers of 2003 and 2008. During those rides on my vintage Yamaha and BMW motorcycles, I pursued photography projects that established my identity as an artist. To express the enduring, personal influence of those journeys I created a bronze casting of the boots, which will outlast me…Although the boots are not a figurative sculpture of a specific person, they signify the experience of one woman adventuring alone.”

 

Sarah Lyon • Louisville, KY

Mel Chin • Asheville, NC

Sarah Lyon compels one to imagine how different history might have been if more urban cowgirls like she and Annie Oakley had driven cattle across the Old Western frontier. Dovetailing with Lyon’s deceptively smooth motorcycle ride, Mel Chin’s Rough Rider re-examines the violent history and macho culture of the young Irish Catholics who settled Texas. A tongue-in-cheek reference to the pain these settlers must have inflicted and endured, Rough Rider is a replica of a roping saddle made out of barbed wire. With this work, Chin references what he terms “the true grit of early Texans and the subjugation of native populations and hard country.” Made for someone whose ancestors received the land grant from queen Isabella II of Spain, the work refers to the early 1800s and the pre republic of Texas before its acceptance into the USA. Chin notes, “The settlers were sent to tame the land, critters and any people they met... and they did.”

 

Marshall Harris • Fort Worth, TX

Marshall Harris also works with the idea of saddles as portraits of the history and individual taste of the rider. Drawing them in graphite on semi-transparent Mylar film, Harris renders the three-dimensional objects in exacting detail. He painstakingly reveals each saddle’s unique embellishments, from its worn leather and decorative tooling to its scuffs and scrapes. Though having lived on the East Coast, Harris now resides in Fort Worth, Texas where he says you can see reenactments of historic gunfights alongside real-life cowboys and cowgirls who call this “Cowtown” home.

 

Ann Harithas • Houston, TX

Ryan Mulligan • Cincinnati, OH

Russel Hulsey • Louisville, KY

JB Wilson • Louisville, KY

Ann Harithas, Ryan Mulligan, Russel Hulsey, and J.B. Wilson also work with themes of the rural frontier and the role of indigenous peoples of America. According to Dan Allison, Harithas’s images “bounce between a dreamy Texas surrealism and a national American culture shock pop floating on brightly painted color field backdrops.” Ryan Mulligan’s untitled drawing of an unnamed Cherokee man shows the latter bound to a chair in Christmas lights while a white woman records his songs. An iconic portrayal of two disparate worlds that invoke an ill-conceived definition of “primitive” and “civilized,” Harithas’s and Mulligan’s work potentially shows America’s contradictory impulse to preserve and make specimens of the cultures it fails to understand.

 

In keeping with the theme of dual identities of nature and culture, Russel Hulsey’s Neither Wolf Nor Dog (2011) is a digital portrait of Sitting Bull who allegedly told his people that they were no longer one with their land (free as the wolf), nor were they satisfied to be the domesticated dog, to walk and talk like the wasichu (a term used to describe “the white man”). Hulsey states, “And so it was, the ‘Native American’ was neither wolf nor dog—no more to be free spirit and hunter, nor satisfied to be domesticated farmer or homesteader. They were in fact, at a crossroads, an enforced limbo, a purgatory of sorts. They looked to Sitting Bull for a new way. If they were not wolf and not dog then they had to somehow become both or perish.”

 

Parallel to Hulsey’s interest in the role of freedom and restraint, country and identity, J.B. Wilson’s Self Determination is a photographic lightbox in which the artist juxtaposes “Western spiritual flight with a space shuttle booming into heaven, and Native American Eagle dancers in ceremony and trance. The young United States is represented with an early hand-drawn map that appears in the smoke, pollution, and energy of the blast.” The text overlaying the unicorns is the Self Determination policy for the Native American as written into law by the United States of America. Wilson states, “To actually write a self-determination policy for a group of people, pass it into law, and hold them accountable to it is arrogant beyond comprehension…”

 

Jeffrey Stockbridge • Philadelphia, PA

In contrast to deconstructing cowboys and the “Wild West,” Jeffrey Stockbridge documents today’s urban poor struggling to eke out an existence on the old Mid Atlantic frontier. Part of his recent body of work entitled Nowhere but Here, photographer Stockbridge states that he set out to chronicle the daily life of Philadelphia’s Kensington Avenue residents as they battle to survive an environment overcome by drugs and prostitution. In Stockbridge’s portrait, a young man named “Country” appears holding a needle, presumably about to shoot heroin into his arm. Evidence of Northern Philadelphia as a de-industrialized no man’s land where not only drug abuse but poverty and prostitution abound, Stockbridge creates a portrait of a different kind of “Country” being left behind by the city. A grim depiction of urban blight, in this photograph Stockbridge seemingly reframes the idea of urban space as neither completely urban nor rural. Beyond traditional American landscape imagery as described by Dr. Susan Isaacs in her introductory essay to this catalog, Stockbridge depicts how rural settings—the Lehigh viaduct in particular—often camouflage urban crime and abject poverty in America.

 

 

Cynthia Norton • Louisville, KY

Cynthia Norton’s light-hearted artwork satirizes darker aspects of American culture. Merging technology, folk music, history and storytelling, Norton adopts the persona of a naïve country girl named “Ninnie” who makes music and sculpture using objects from her surroundings. Fountain (Longevity) (2011), is a dysfunctional moonshine still installed on top of a traditional white pedestal. Norton states, “Fountain has a game-board that has been turned into a stool and incorporates various pieces…There is a bucket with copper coil and a pressure cooker ready to cook up a mash or maybe make preserves.” Norton considers moonshiners to be the cultural workers and artisans of the Appalachian region and draws a comparison between them and artists. While Fountain is an exploration of personal, political, and cultural economy, it is also a metaphor for endurance. Norton re-signifies rural identity by performing it and, in the process, succeeds in dismantling stereotypes of country girls and Appalachia.

 

Matthew Weddington • Lexington, KY

Also parodying the notion that art cannot be made in “the sticks,” Matthew Weddington erected a roadside landmark in Kentucky that reads: “Fayette County: Home of Matthew Weddington, Conceptual Artist.” Made for his mother, the artist photographed the sign along a busy roadway near his home. Landmark

can be seen as an ironic commentary on the futility of artists trying to make art in a place “The Art World” might characterize as a cultural and geographic nowhere. In an attempt to ensure his artistic visibility, Weddington makes a visible articulation of his premature eminence and obsolescence. Facetiously asserting that Kentucky should already care about his artistic contribution, as a young man in his 30s, Weddington virtually eliminates the need to actually accomplish anything more with his art career. By decreeing that a conceptual artist once came from Fayette County, Weddington parodies the conceit that a conceptual artist might never have come from Fayette County or at least might never be acknowledged by this small town and the larger art market. Other than the artist’s mother, one wonders if anyone ever made note of his landmark or if his contributions were not unlike the proverbial tree falling in a forest.

 

Leslie Lyons • New York City, NY

Kentucky-born, New York-based photographer Leslie Lyons has photographed such musicians as Sonic Youth, Jose Gonzalez, and the Strokes to name a few. In 2010, Lyons was invited to shoot stills for the documentary film, Wilderness of Mirrors, portraying the journeyman singer songwriter Paul K. The acclaimed actor and musician, Will Oldham also makes a guest appearance in the film to sing a song called “Imperial Statues” (along with filmmaker John Bosch). Photographing Oldham singing into a microphone before the setting sun, Lyons’ romantic images echo the musician’s haunting, folk-inspired sound. According to Lyons, “The scene was shot in downtown Louisville, Kentucky, the mid-sized mid-western city that begs to be considered both as a rural and urban oasis. I was born there and believe it to be both…The song that Paul wrote and that Will sings is an iconoclastic alt-country song about heartbreak but it also contains a bittersweet truth.” Lyon adds that the lyrics read:

 

I once knew a girl who taught me a prayer

About all she knew about lovin’

But the summer turned to cold

And she turned to gold

And the words that we said

Meant nothing10

 

In Lyons’ photographs, the sunset casts Oldham’s profile in total shadow, blocking out his eyes and lending an air of mystery to the image, which echoes the real-life intrigue surrounding this cult hero from Appalachia who records under the name of Bonnie ‘Prince’ Billy. Oldham is an inspiration to countless artists and musicians alike. In 2000, the late country music star Johnny Cash covered Oldham’s song, “I See a Darkness.” Oldham’s lyrics from “A Minor Place,” also off the “I See a Darkness” album, embody ideas of geographic isolation in Young Country:

 

I've been to a minor place

And I can say I like its face

If I am gone and with no trace

I will be in a minor place11

 

Andrea Stanislav • Minneapolis, MN
Stanislav’s rotating mirrored sculpture is at once visually and conceptually arresting. Adorning the surface of a headless horse with a seductively resplendent material, the artist presents us with a severed and decorated trophy of ersatz nature that alludes to American Manifest Destiny, the process of mastering the land, and the creatures in it. According to the artist’s statement, Stanislav’s work, “reminds us that what we fear and seek to control is precisely what we desire the most and never truly find: pure wild, unadulterated nature. This was the American dream of the first settlers, the notion mythically embodied by the native horsemen, articulated in the blues and howled by punk rock.”

 

martin peeves tm • Philadelphia, PA
Born in Ghana, the Philadelphia-based artist Eric Abaka makes artwork under the trademark of martin peeves tm. His immersive multi-media installation presented at the DCCA revolves around the narrative of Son of Jemima tm who is presumably the offspring of the southern advertising icon, Aunt Jemima. Son of Jemima tm is mythologized as a fatherless young man whose mother is working too much to parent him. Surrounded by portraits of mainly African American celebrities who serve as his de facto role models, Son of Jemima tm is personified as a young black man absorbing and consuming the audio-visual information around him. With a TV for a head, we see through the eyes of Son of Jemima tm as he plays back mass media-derived images that ultimately provide us with a glimpse into the character’s subconscious. As a result, we as viewers become aware of how we understand Son of Jemima tm and his perception of the world.

 


 

As an exhibition, Young Country acknowledges artistic practice that moves beyond both geographic and art historical frames to demonstrate how American artists continue to make art outside of big cities in remote locations. As Daniel Bell wrote, “From the start America was at one and the same time a frontier community where "everything goes”... At the turn of the [twentieth] century the cleavage developed between the Big City and the small-town conscience.”12 This In their haste to modernize, richer cities eschew the rural sector and create an “other” out of smaller towns and people from poorer places. Parisians hold disdain for southern, agricultural areas and accents in France just as much as New York City cosmopolitans disdain the Midwest as a farmland fly-over zone.

 

In Jonathan Franzen’s novel Freedom one of the central protagonists, Patty, brings her fiancé Walter Berglund from the Midwest to a family dinner in the City:

 

Patty, with a frozen smile, sat looking at the glamorous and plutocratic parties at other tables in the restaurant’s lovely discreet light. There was, of course, nowhere better in the world to be than New York City. This fact was the foundation of her family’s satisfaction with itself, the platform from which all else could be ridiculed, the collateral of adult sophistication that brought them to behave like children.13

 

Given the lingering stereotype that New York City is culturally superior to other U.S. cities, it is not surprising that even as of 2011, Los Angeles is still trying to announce itself to the New York art market in an exhibition like Greater L.A.14 Yet, while Young Country could be mistakenly placed into a category of such exhibitions focused on carving out a distinct identity from New York City art-world sophistication with idiosyncratic, regional identities and folk expression, Young Country is better understood as a potential reflection of the enduring legacy of class stratification in America.

 

With urban greening initiatives and serious art exhibitions devoted to farms, for example, it is apparent that there is more to the urban fascination with rural life than meets the eye. Green art shows, do-it-yourself home brews, and conspicuous suburban farms have become fashionable expressions of affluence for curators, artists, and upwardly mobile urban dwellers alike. Writer David Brooks coined the phrase “bobo”15 to describe bourgeois bohemianism, or, the hybrid SUV-driving educated elite’s ability to purchase a certain rustic lifestyle. From plaid shirts to pick-up trucks, “countrypolitan” hipsters might not so much be “going country” as much as affecting the accent. As an exhibition Young Country probes the idea of art as a signifier of region and class and seeks to complicate our relationship to “the simple” life.

 

1Lynch, Marsha. “Derby Dining Dos and Don’ts.” 2011 May 4. Web. 2011 June 9. <http://www.louisvillehotbytes.com/derby-dining-dos-and-don’ts>.

2McAdam, Thomas “How much do Kentucky Derby tickets really cost?” 2011 May 1. Web. 2011 June 9. <http://www.examiner.com/city-hall-in-louisville/how-much-to-kentucky-derby-tickets-really-cost>.

3Thompson, Hunter S. “The Kentucky Derby is Decadent and Depraved,” FreeGotham.com, orig. pub. in Scanlan’s Monthly, June 1970. Web. <http://freegotham.com/2011/05/06/the-kentucky-derby-is-decadent-and-depraved/>.

4Bell, Daniel. “Crime as an American Way of Life,” The Antioch Review, Vol. 50, No. 1/2, 50th Anniversary Issue (Winter - Spring, 1992), pp. 109-130. Accessed online at: http://www.jstor.org/pss/4612495.

5 Hixson, Bud. Artist’s Statement. Email to the Author. Tuesday, May 31, 2011.

6Beckman, Justin. Artist’s Statement. Web. 13 June 2011. <http://www.beckman.ws/discourse/index.html#>

7Loh, Sandra Tsing. “Class Dismissed: A new status anxiety is infecting affluent hipdom.” The Atlantic, (March 2009). Web. 10 June 2011. <http://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/2009/03/class-dismissed/7274/>

8Nicely, Brian. Artist’s Statement. Email to the Author. 2009.

9“New Perspectives on The West.” Web. 3 June 2011. <http://www.pbs.org/weta/thewest/program/episodes/five/cowboys.html>.

10Billy, Bonnie ‘Prince’. Lyrics to “Imperial Statues” as quoted by Lyons, Leslie. Artist’s Statement. Email to the Author. Sun, Jun 12, 2011.

11Billy, Bonnie ‘Prince’. Lyrics. “A Minor Place.” I See A Darkness. CD. Palace Records, 1999. Justsomelyrics.com. Web. 12 June 2011. <http://www.justsomelyrics.com/749735/Bonnie-%22Prince%22-Billy-A-Minor-Place-Lyrics>

12 Bell, Daniel. “Crime as an American Way of Life,” The Antioch Review, Vol. 50, No. 1/2, 50th Anniversary Issue (Winter - Spring, 1992), pp. 109-130. Web. <http://www.jstor.org/pss/4612495>.

13Franzen, Jonathan. Freedom. New York: Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2010.

14Smith, Roberta, “A Bit of Hollywood Minus the Tinsel.” New York Times. 2011 May 31. Web. <http://www.nytimes.com/2011/06/01/arts/design/greater-la-california-artists-in-a-soho-loft-review.html>.

15Brooks, David. Bobos in Paradise: The New Upper Class And How They Got There. New York: Simon & Schuster, 2000.