However as was the case with the 19th and early 20th centuries, soon many became disenchanted with the promise of the modern. Not only were minority and other perspectives ignored in the rush for the universal, but artists believed that modern art did not allow them the opportunity to truly express their personal narratives. Don Eddy’s New Shoes for H., 1973-4, and Imminent Desire/Distant Longing II, 1993, suggest conflict. While the first superficially, portrays American capitalism with a store window filled with displays of shoes and handbags (and price tags), there is an odd superimposition of multiple layers of information. The storefront is on a diagonal mimicking the way we walk down the sidewalk and glance forward and to the side. From that angle, reflections of buildings on the opposite side of the street are seen.

 

ADD INTO THIS BOX NEW IMAGE TITLED “EDDY”

What about those reflections? Where are those buildings and how do they fit together in reality? Is this a reflection of reality? The sky appears layered onto a taller building and interrupting the red and green-lettered sign. In an earlier discussion, we addressed the issue of fragmentation; this is an example of the fragmentation of buildings and the real world in which they exist. In my opinion, the artist is commenting on how in our consumer-driven society that we are so focused on “keeping up with the Joneses,” that we have ignored the fact that the outside world (truth, reality) has fallen apart or is fragmented. As people focus on materialism, they lose sight of the larger picture.

The second work by Eddy portrays nature in its chromatic glory, yet there is an odd superimposition of multiple layers of information. Painted photo-realistically, the flowers, waterfall, and clouds are obsessively detailed. Is this a reflection of reality? The disjunction in scale, alignment, and perspectival orientation create a negative rather than positive impression. It appears as if Eddy is working from separate snapshots rather than “out in the field,” and therefore the visual image is twice removed from objective reality. In an earlier discussion, we addressed the issue of fragmentation; this is an example of the fragmentation of the natural order, our obsession with snapshots, our focus on the details of life, that we have lost, again, sight of the world as a whole.