The three artists in Dwell make images that have their roots in traditional painting but quickly branch into current events and pop culture references with a knowing wink at the powerful allure of decoration. Through their varied approaches, Dahl, Hamburger and Murphy ruminate on the current obsession with the home and its accoutrements as symbols of status, success and safety. At the same time, they unabashedly address “things gone wrong” in this country: foreign policies, conspicuous consumerism and the mortgage crisis are all relevant starting points. Like good homemakers of yore, the Dwell artists are able to polish up the dirty truths of these timely subjects in a deceptively attractive manner and pleasing presentation. Playing within the stereotype of female influence in the domestic sphere, feminism has found a new post.
How we dwell today reflects who we are, what we believe and our personal histories. Our homes have become aggrandized reflections of our politics, hypocrisies, successes and failures. The artwork in Dwell seduces with an initial layer of beauty, but also provides the decisive bite of truth and irony that can make art so enjoyable and satisfying.