Leslie Tucker offers an ironic analysis of the American Dream put forth in a series of digitally collaged works that commemorate objects, places and historic moments in our culture that are iconic markers charting our socio/political development (for better or for worse). Her playfully sardonic wit emanating from the artworks is exemplified in statements such as “'Toxic Carbs' is my latest stamp work. I am gripped by the sense that processed white bread is eroding due to the encroachment of whole grains.”
The artist composes her pet peeves and the things associated with them like a playwright casts plays. To Tucker, ordinary objects become her palette of characters who get hired, or not, to act out her cultural vision. Her charge is to honor the ordinary and become its self-appointed steward.
She canonizes and breathes life into all the well-deserving objects we shamefully snub. Their meanings take on a dualistic struggle on a grander scale. The incandescent light bulb, central to the uplifting concept of illumination, is rightfully troubled by its looming ecological demise. The Coke® bottle, central to such uplifting themes as being Real, being It, and Having a Smile; is paired with a contradictory value of its imperialistic hold on the sugar-addicted.
Plastics are in our homes to stay, and our oceans. “Empire” captures the glistening infestation of Polyethylene Terephthalate water bottles found floating in our oceans and basking on our shores. Obesity, honored in “Hide Your Children” and now America's #1 export, will undoubtedly nourish our lagging GDP to new economic heights. “Compliance” commemorates our new, wonderfully responsive generation of children who actually obey their parents’ wishes and willingly fall into line.
Her largest and most elaborate work to date, “Extraordinary Mundane,” charts the genesis of the American Dream in exuberant detail. It is a combination circuit schematic and old-school board game that romps through McCarthy era history in all of its pop grandeur: its ultimate message (in the artist's words) could be “maybe if we all stopped shopping for one nanosecond we'd at least have a fighting chance at being a whole lot happier.”
-- Rex Bruce, Director, LACDA, Los Angeles CA