"For Display Only"

Ellen Nelson's avatar Ellen Nelson

This is a series of five mandalas in oil that explore the experience of living in a culture where everything is bought and sold - our health, our good times, how we feel about others and express those feelings, and even how we feel about ourselves. These paintings search for truth in beauty, and attempt to find what has replaced our social capital in consumer America. In order to slowly diminish our social capital, and encourage us instead to attempt to buy solutions to all of our sadness and disconnectedness, consumer goods and what they represent need to look unrealistically beautiful. But what we always end up finding is that the reality of our world is much more serious - the beauty is for display only. Each painting is accompanied by a personal artist statement that reflects my own relationship to the painting's content, and how the painting process has changed me as a person.

Entry Details
  • Art form: 2-D
  • Depth: 3 inches
  • Medium: Oil on canvas
  • Width: 4 feet (x5)
  • Year created: 2016
  • Height: 4 feet