Whereas artists of previous centuries would have used religious or mythological symbols to suggest broad cultural ideas, 21st-century artists often turn to corporate labels and logos to represent themes of modern society.
"Corporatocracy," showing through Friday at the Individual Artists of Oklahoma Gallery, includes the work of three invited artists "? Marwin Begaye, Steve Breerwood and Aaron Hauck "? as well as art selected from a call for submissions.
"We wanted a show that would highlight artists who are investigating the ways that corporations affect us," said Jeff Stokes, executive director of IAO. "Corporations affect the way we buy things, what we buy, and have advertisements for how we're supposed to look and how to behave."
Begaye used woodblocks and digital posters to focus on how fast food has impacted American Indian culture through a diabetes epidemic. In his artist statement, he wrote that his work involves "culture jamming," where "the icons of our American culture are turned on themselves."
His "The Kills Very Slow Boy" depicts the Pillsbury Doughboy as a skeleton, while another piece changes the Little Debbie Snack Cakes logo into "Little Devil's Crack Cakes," with a decayed smoking woman with red horns.
Breerwood, an assistant professor of art at the University of Science and Arts Oklahoma in Chicaksha, created a series of large-scale oil paintings of Wal-Mart. Several are based on historical paintings, including "Zoning After Millet," which has three Wal-Mart employees posed like the three peasant women in Jean-Fran