The paintings of Marc Trujillo portray quotidian scenes: fast food restaurants, big box store aisles, the long terminal corridors of airports, and so on. The scenes are remarkably unremarkable. In their ubiquitous nature, the paintings present an anti-place: scenes that refer not to a specific place, but to uncannily similar tableaus that unfold everyday in communities across America. While Trujillo models his paintings after specific locations, usually in the Los Angeles area, his scenes appear strikingly similar to viewers’ own relationships with local commerce. His paintings critique a hallmark of modern capitalism: one that aims to recreate identical commercial experiences across the country.
With the title American Purgatory, Trujillo’s exhibition presents a body of work in which each painting locates a place that’s not a place. As Charleston, SC is in the midst of a period of high growth, many national chains are replacing local stores that have existed for decades. The exhibition will resonate with local audiences, asking them to consider the price, if any, that comes with restructuring a local economy to one with a national scope.
Credit: Exhibition overview from museum website