Photos by Miller Taylor
The New White Picket Fence
Monday, June 4th, 2012
By Sarah Murray
“Within the boundaries of a society largely living above its own means, an unregulated banking system that plays by its own rules, and a government that idly stands by as millions of homes are being foreclosed upon, there lies an absolute truth: the direction we’re moving as a society has become unsustainable and toxic... This is the new promise of the American dream.” —Brad Ascalon
Few symbols embody the American Dream like the white picket fence, which has always been a symbol of success and comfortable living in the American suburbs. But the recent Recession has put an end to that dream for millions of people whose homes have been foreclosed. The symbolism of the picket fence has, for some, been twisted to signify class warfare, exorbitant living, and broken dreams.
To celebrate New York Design Week 2012, Gallery R’ Pure presented the work of several US designers and their interpretations of iconic aspects of American life in an exhibit called "Love It or Leave It." Brad Ascalon's contribution, "The Dream," "twists" the imagery of the white picket fence, literally contorting and inverting it. The stark contrast between the black and white and the dejected nature of the bent posts truly bring to light the issues associated with blindly following our ingrained beliefs. Some might consider this exhibit an affront to idealism, but questioning our established values is historically just as American as accepting them.