12. Bradley Milligan

My work consists of paintings and painterly objects that borrow from the languages of craft and building traditions. Through these works, I mine visual tropes and signifiers of rural America as a way to consider issues of race, masculinity, and individualism. My working process allows me to explore these themes and their relation to rural Americana aesthetics and “The American Dream.” Notions of vulnerability and loss run through my work, creating a tension between an artwork’s appearance and the larger issues which I allude to through my subject matter. Materials and processes of labor point to mending, repair, and care-taking. These restorative gestures in the work are at odds with the aesthetics of failure and vulnerability, ultimately complicating notions of repair. I think of these conditions as being parallel to optical tactics in contemporary American politics.