Dirty Laundry: A Detailed Look at the Trappings of Excess is a series of watercolor paintings that aims to examine how our culture’s fixation on fashion and name brands leads to excess, and ultimately, reveals the artist’s discovery of self-indulgence.

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Dirty Laundry. Don’t we all have piles of unnecessary dirty laundry? This series of watercolor paintings aims to examine how our culture’s fixation on fashion and name brands leads to excess.

This collection began as a simple study of drapery. I was attempting to represent, through watercolor, the undulating lines, folds and grooves of each piece of clothing in my pile of laundry. Nevertheless, I became connected with each piece of apparel that I was painting. As I painted, I became attached to the clothes and began noticing nuances in garments and fabrics—textures, dyes, threads, seams, trims, patterns—and how each element creates a larger piece that one can wear.

As I began working on multiple paintings, I realized that I’ve amassed quite a bit of clothing. I had more clothes than I could wear in a month and dozens of items in my closet that I rarely, if ever, wore. Influenced by the power of advertising and lured by false notions of living a certain lifestyle, I’ve accumulated a trove of branded wardrobe. Each piece of garment I owned was bought from a certain store, had a name brand and had its logo displayed prominently or even on a tiny label. I became more aware and absorbed with the status associated with each brand than the intrinsic qualities of the fabrics and materials from which the garments were made. I’ve attained, in my mind, self worth through the clothing I’ve purchased. I’ve been seduced by capitalism and trapped by its devices. As a child, I was taught the value of simplicity. And now, as an adult, I’ve become excessive.

Mic Diaz


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