It’s a strange thing growing up in a small town. Earlier this year I was working on a sketch of a friend who is snarling and throwing gang signs with the Idaho Falls LDS temple in the background. She’s covered in tattoos and sports an urban grill. I assume it’s urban since I’ve never seen grills advertised in Idaho that didn’t include gas or charcoal in the description. I did see a grill store in the Dearborn mall while in Detroit Michigan. As a matter of fact it was the first store I saw as I entered! (I took a “not from around here” cell phone picture to prove it). Ok….. back to the story.
My friend isn’t covered in tattoos nor does she sport a grill. She works as a dental hygienist at a local dentist’s office. She’s as conservative as they get and even bowls on a women’s league! Anyway, the juxtaposition of these two very different elements of urban meets small town created an awkward feeling of my experience growing up in Ashton Idaho. Don’t get me wrong, I loved it for the most part. Some things I could have done without but who can’t relate to that?
The “strange” had more to do with seeing my life through the fuzzy glasses of teenage angst. Confined by popular local beliefs we dragged Main Street listening to Metallica and experimented with big city influence. An innocent rebellion compared to the standards of urban mischief right? Well, there was more going on during that time that I’ll keep to myself but you know what I mean. For the most part it was all about friends living it up whenever and however we could! The influence of what I assumed was a “big city” lifestyle came to me through television and music. Mostly music but this isn’t what created the “strangeness” I wrote about. It was the thought of what exactly created this same rebellion in girls growing up in the same time and place.
An example of what I is mean is, well, what influenced the huge bangs hovering over the forehead of these girls during that time? I really don’t know. Was this a toned down version of an innocent rebellion? If I remember correctly it was the tallest or highest hair sail that got recognized, or maybe it was the best styled? I’m not sure but they were big. So what influences the kids of Ashton Idaho today? What strange fad has made its way into the scenic gateway called Ashton Idaho? What innocent and not so innocent rebellion wafts through the air of those paved streets and open farm fields?
Out of these confused questions came many ideas for a sketch or painting. So I took them and mashed them up and out came a new painting titled 652-GIRL. It’s the 2011 clash of trends meets the small town Ashton girl. Cheers to the girls graduating in the early 90’s with your big hair, platform shoes, neon colors, oversize sweaters, acid wash jeans and see through Fossil watches! Yeah! I can almost hear Jesus Jones screaming through the Z103 lifeline, "Right here, right now there is no other place I'd rather be"!
|652-GIRL oil on canvas: Click on image to see details of lil ol Ashton.|