Manufacturing a Consumer Culture Through Materialism and Consumerism
With my work, I offer a critique of materialism and consumerism by examining the interplay of unfettered consumption, social hierarchy, and unrelenting advertising. Consumerism and advertising manipulate the ideas of well-being and happiness, blurring the line between needs and wants. For example, Scrooge McDuck, a greedy and covetous Walt Disney character, is never satisfied with what he has- he always wants more. Employing Scrooge McDucks’ character traits, I use highly prized goods such as Kanye Wests’ Yeezys, Virgil Abloh’s Off-White sweatshirt, a Louis Vuitton hat and Hermes boxes. I represent wealth and money using symbolic dollar signs and represent social hierarchy by composing different elements within the piece. My work intensifies, heightens, and exaggerates, for visual impact, the consumer culture we create and reproduce. This consumer culture has a debilitating effect on society and our physical and mental well-being. Now, more than ever, due to the world pandemic of COVID-19, people may realize that materialism and consumerism should not define our consumer culture.