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J McLaughlin

J McLaughlin is a queer anarcho-bourgeois from Victoria, BC. Their seductively cheerful paintings illuminate the tender murky swamp that blooms between the false hopes of consumer culture/corporate obedience and our own private fears and desires. Text & images stolen from vintage advertising and illustration are layered, distressed & flattened into a single viewing plane. Images are dragged into digital & reworked to the point of pixilated abstraction.

Sentiments & secrets are filtered through multiple translation programs, from English to Japanese to Russian to Dingbat & back again, and are then pushed into encrypted text: mirror writing, Morse code, short hand, telegraph, & Braille. Over the years, a personal iconography has emerged. Key images from such sources as the St. John’s Ambulance First Aid Manual (1964), “Betty Crocker’s Cookbook for Boys & Girls” (1957), & Valmor Wig advertisements (1970), and motifs such as emptied speech balloons, hobo code, crude diamonds, & the word “Beauty” come back to haunt us, over and over again.