Alyssa McCarley is an artist from Locust Grove, Georgia majoring in Art with a concentration in Fine Arts (Studio) and a minor in Business Administration. She has worked in her communities both in Locust Grove and Milledgeville to create colorful mural pieces for local businesses and fostered a relationship with the community by tabling her art at the local Deep Roots Festival. Her background consists mostly of printmaking, painting, and nontraditional sculpture often rooted in controversial topics such as capitalism, and politics. While also working on design work, she sometimes features “ugly”, or “gruesome” characters. With her work she plans to hopefully move forward into a gallery setting or work towards another art related job.
The New American Dream
Within my work I am investigating the consequences of capitalism that affect employee’s lives as well as individual’s roles within families. In my work, I aim to present issues of late capitalism 1 through exaggerated perspectives that capture the viewer. I hope for the viewer to engage and contemplate the piece rather than accepting it at face value. As a natural pessimist, my ideas are shown by negative aspects of late capitalism. I maintain interest with this idea because I have seen these effects first-hand and can relate to them.
I believe in this system of late capitalism it is so easy to pick out its downfalls and put them up for observation in front of an audience, especially after it’s ill preparedness with our current pandemic. We all have anecdotes to a way it has negatively affected us whether it be leaving work to care for sick children and being threatened to be fired for it or general fear of loss of our job over minute things. I believe that is enough reason to prove that our suspicions of capitalism are not without warrant. If we feel so much insecurity with our jobs as we are just pawns for profit, there seems to be a bigger issue at play. While I recognize it is not all bad, I am making a conscious effort to focus on the bad to further the piece’s intention: which is to make the viewer weary of their part in this system.
My ideas are presented through a large-scale painting to be meticulously detailed as a reminder of the dangerous sides of capitalism. The piece starts by telling a story of individuals being excited to become part of the workforce, spending their whole lives building up to it, however, after all this effort, what awaits behind it is a mostly corrupt landscape of problems. Both seeing and reading pieces from other scholars has made me feel it is my duty as an artist to also make work that challenges social beliefs that are not truly for the betterment of all of society. It also begs a question of where artists stand in this while trying to make work: is it for profit or for purpose? I continue to investigate these ideas within my work, and they help keep me curious moving forward.
This painting highlights the shortcomings of Late Capitalism by showing how big systems affect us all through major topics including Big Pharma, Lean-staffing, Housing Crisis', Corrupt corporations and more. The piece also displays the idea of our worth today being largely based off how much we can produce and the issues that come with that way of thinking. More information about the piece can be found below in the full-length artist statement.