MADE IN AMERICA reminisces on the desolation of the American dream, from the artist’s perspective as part of the first generation to grow up in post-Communist Poland. Throughout the 1990s, American TV and cinema had a strong cultural influence in Poland and the wider world, as a benchmark for freedom, opportunity, heroism, wealth, and success. Zarowny caricatures the U.S.A’s subsequent self-destruction, rendering the hypocrisy of “the land of the free” with darkly cartoonish figures and rapid, intuitive brushwork.
Created just weeks before the murder of George Floyd and the resulting protests for racial justice, MADE IN AMERICA reflects, from a distance, on the oppression and violence experienced by many African American people. The works’ provocative imagery and symbolism pay homage to the articulate expressions of generations of African American musicians including Kendrick Lamar, A Tribe Called Quest, J Dilla, Aretha Franklin, Billie Holiday, Sister Rosetta Tharpe, Gil Scott-Heron, Sun Ra and Eddie Holman, as well as artists Kerry James-Marshall and Basquiat.
MADE IN AMERICA is a new series of 12 paintings.
Using acrylic paint on salvaged cotton primed with gesso, Zarowny responds to the clear imperative to revise how the U.S.A is seen and represented on a personal level, culturally and globally.
Narration by Emily Lindsay Brown