David Evan Withers
I recontextualize imagery in order to relay a fresh sense of emotion or sincerity, often by combining poetic language with nostalgic cartoons in my paintings. I find that the language of memes uses a similar formula with comedic effect. My interest in humor comes from its potential underlying seriousness, which can disrupt convention, activate repressed emotions and impulses, and address fears of alienation, displacement, and related anxieties. Cartoons are often abstracted representations of humanity, an ambiguous representation of actions and emotions, a placeholder for a person. One is to constantly make sense of the nonsense. Humor has the ability to make you laugh with discomfort or even settle into an uneasy sadness. Moments or feelings that seemed to have meaning, we are safe to digest as meaningless. That is what constitutes the comedic process— maneuvering throughout fear with a gentle sarcasm.