"New American Gothic" (a self portrait)

Ritch Branstrom's avatar Ritch Branstrom

My work almost always begins with a single, found object that is imbued with meaning—often something that is “storied” in some way. That item contains a history, that once refashioned and repurposed, especially when aligned with other such items, holds the potential to tell a new story: an alchemy of sorts. This piece provided an opportunity to pay tribute to Grant Wood's "American Gothic" while modernizing its context. Here, I’ve attended to the empowerment of women and inversed traditional gender roles. Piecing objects together offers a grand metaphor for bringing one’s self together, too. Shortly after ArtPrize last year, I fell off of my large dog sculpture, breaking my back. Since then, I have been patching myself and my life back together. This piece is deeply personal in the way that it has allowed for self-contemplation, healing and restoration of inner and outer landscapes. It has purposefully been an exploration of union on many levels.

Entry Details
  • Art form: 3-D
  • Depth: 26 inches
  • Medium: Steel and found objects.
  • Width: 9 feet
  • Year created: 2014
  • Height: 9.5 feet