Sketch For Forest Ranger

Sketch For Forest Ranger
James Rosenquist
November 29, 1933 - March 31, 2017
Artist Biography
Acquisition Number: 82.23
Medium: Screenprint on fringed plastic film
Size: 24" x 20"
Date: 1967
Credit: Gift of Wilton S. Sogg

"Sketch for Forest Ranger" features various images: a swing, illustrated with the style and bright colors characteristic of Pop art, intersected with a more photorealistic depiction of a stalk of celery, radishes, and lettuce in a bed of ice, similar to what you might find in the produce department of a grocery store. Both images are likely imitations of advertisements, as was Rosenquist's style. What connects the two images is the idea of a consumable, domesticated nature, or turning nature into a consumerist product for purchase. The vegetables provided by the earth are claimed by consumerism and made a product no different than a car or toy. Food and entertainment once naturally provided have become objects of consumer society: nature is now a product too. The work is not a static, unchanging object, but one that shifts and evolves. Drawing from his background in sign painting, Rosenquist's pieces often explored the role of advertising and consumer culture in art and society. By working with commercial imagery, Rosenquist helped define Pop art and was one of its seminal figures.