I make screwball history paintings concerned with ideas of deception, illusion, delusion, facades, conspiracy theories, faulty perceptions, even faultier logic, slight of hand, trickery, mind control, and outmoded systems. I question how such devices both strengthen and undermine mechanisms of power, and how they are both cause and consequence of the current state of psychic instability.

Instability remains an important impetus for change and transformation. I make images that convey the impossible situation of a stable instability, or an unstable stability. I am not interested in teaching lessons or providing answers. I want to convey a sense of the beautifully bewildering complexity and comic ridiculousness of life in the 21st century, to create utopian visions that masquerade as satirical, dystopian fantasies. Through the combination of chance, an insistent materiality, art historical reference and pop culture signifiers I propose unsolvable puzzles

Utilization of the languages of animated cartoons and sign painting allows for an immediate, easy entry into a familiar world. This apparent familiarity is all surface and scarcely covers the slippery and elusive nature of the search for meaning. Fragments of narratives projected into the space of the viewer necessitate a physical as well as a visual accounting of the experience.

Through the manipulation and recombination of these fragments I am exploring the liberating potential of ambiguity, inviting viewers to make their own connections, or indulge in some irrational escapism. When attempting to piece together these fragments fictions must be created to fill the many gaps. Desire, a little willful self-deception, and perhaps some delusions of deductive or inductive reasoning collude, manifesting the illusion of the potential for a coherent narrative.

I am interested in how models of reality are constructed from an endless deluge of sensory input and received information. The idea that what we accept as our reality may not be as real as we believe, that it is in fact quite mutable, continually re-presents the possibility of many possibilities.

-Eric Cain

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