E. Brooke Lanier
The foundation of this piece is an etching of the phrases, “I love you” and “I am so proud of you,” repeated so many times that they become static and semi-illegible. I designed a font, then cut the words “Any time you need me, feel free to leave a message” out of the etched paper. I intended this piece to address the disconnect between intentions and actual outcomes in relationships that often occurs among very busy people, especially with the growing number of alternative, more time-efficient methods of communication increasingly replacing actual human interaction. Repeating something endlessly sometimes nullifies its intended effect.
The small scale and pastel palette of this painting allude to domesticity and the body. The text’s veiled threat, presented as a treat, implies that subtle threats are the most dangerous. For instance, victims of domestic violence often become accustomed to navigating a complex pattern of behaviors in order to avoid incurring abuse. Things that would cause great alarm to an outsider become routine in their household. This kind of subtle threat, hidden in the promise of security, poses more risk than hitching a ride from a blood-spattered maniac for the reason that it is easier to avoid a threat that is an obvious screaming danger than one you are unaware is dangerous at all.
Some day maybe I could love you
if I could forget you were a killer
This piece highlights our tendency to gloss over or romanticize harsh truths and fundamental realities when they conflict with our idealized image of a person whom we find appealing. The text in this piece is the first line of a poem which addresses an emotionally and politically complex flirtation with an officer in the US Military.
E. Brooke Lanier received her MFA degree in painting from Tyler School of Art. She earned her BFA degree from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. She has shown her work in Rome, Italy; Prague, Czech Republic; and across the United States; notably in the Smithsonian Institute’s S. Dillon Ripley Center and the John F. Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C.