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above: Big Pharma Meds, 2010 by Jon Harvey
Making a commentary on politics, government, crime, society, the internet, business and cultural stereotypes, artist Jon Harvey has encapsulated -- literally -- icons and elements in oversized clear pill capsules for multiple series of sculptures.
His "Meds" are constructed with clay, hard vinyl, wood, leather, steel, liquid, found objects, acrylic paint, turf and other materials and placed inside 8 x 3 x 6 inch (20.3 x 7.6 x 15.2 cm) acrylic capsules mounted on stands.
Soccer Mom Meds, 2008:
F*ck Like Bunnies Meds, 2011:
Cholesterol Meds, 2010:
Nostalgic Airline Coach Class Meds, 2011:
Mall Meds 2010:
Bernie's Victims Meds, 2009:
Genocide Meds, 2010:
Gridlock Meds 2011:
Shipwreck Meds 2011:
Celebrity Meds, 2011:
Gay Meds, 2011:
Retirement Meds, 2011:
Casey Anthony Meds:
Human Nature Meds, 2011:
Lemming Meds 2011:
It's a Jungle Out There Meds, 2011:
Middle Class Meds, 2011:
Working Class Meds, 2011:
Couch potato Meds 2011:
Stock, Bond, Hedge Fund Trader's Meds 2011:
Bill, John, Elliot, Tiger, Jesse and Arnold Meds, 2010-2011:
US Senator Meds, 2010:
Police Academy Meds, 2011:
Clown Meds, 2011:
Tooth Fairy Meds, 2010:
Facebook Meds 2010:
Google Meds 2010:
In the artists's own words:
A psychotherapist by profession, I have recently decided to focus exclusively on my real passion, which is making sculptures commenting on the world and the people in it.
I make pieces that say something about the way I think the world really operates. They address the gross injustices, the lack of power of most people, including those who presumably have been given some power, and the misapplication of money and goods that cause so many people to go hungry and die from lack of food and water. I also try to express in my work some of the absurdities and foibles of humanity with, I hope, some humor.
The Meds Series came directly from my work with children. As a school psychologist working primarily with teenage boys, I treated kids with many challenges, such as Autism, Asperger’s Syndrome, and Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder. Occasionally a kid would come into my office so heavily medicated that he slept through the entire session. Other times, if the meds were properly adjusted, we could make some real progress through one-on-one talk therapy.
I believe that, as a society, we are all too eager to treat any and all ailments with drugs, rather than taking the time and effort to really work through to the root causes of our problems. The Meds Series is my commentary on this tendency.
I have been making sculptures most of my life but it only became clear to me to move full speed ahead with my art several years ago. Inspired by the works of Joseph Cornell and Edward Kienholz, I began by building small three-dimensional sculptures for friends and family. Although Cornell created tiny worlds in small boxes and Kienholz worked on a much larger scale, both artists remain a strong and fascinating influence for me.
See all of Jon Harvey's work here.