Rafael Blanco © 2013
From the beginning of my American journey, I became fascinated by its multicultural coexistence. Even though the United States houses almost every other culture in the world, soon enough I realized that they are not blended together at all, but segregated into different vicinities instead. Despite the immense dissimilarities between culture groups, I learnt the essential clue that makes them coexist inside the same borders -a resilient sense of American patriotism.
The 'Old Glory', and established representation of democracy and freedom, had become, for many, more than a symbol. It had become America. But ironically, it has also become an essential image of mass media production. This graphic reappearance has created, out of ordinary decorations available to the masses, a pillar of the U.S culture's structure. Any object, if decorated with some type of resemblance to the Red, White & Blue, it seems to become a patriotic manifestation.
Typical decorations like "None has correctly signified the meaning of freedom, liberty and hope as our American flag" by the founder of the Project Prayer Flag, Sham Black, are conceited nationalist statements mistakenly understood as patriotic. I strongly support the love for one's nation and the unique pride for one's flag. But there are dangerous grounds when patriotic principles are laced with hints of supremacy that could transform its significance -fading its glory.
During the creation of Faded Glory, the multiple manifestations of the American Flag made the project grow beyond the canvas. I felt the necessity to recreate at much bigger scale cheap patriotic objects (like pinwheels and windsocks) found at dollar stores. I created these pieces in order to question the reality we face, trying to portray the paradox suggested by the contradictory representations of the Red, White & Blue; an everlasting sense of patriotism.