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Image-search and the scarcity theory of beauty
Google Images represents a profound and unprecedented democratization of beauty – anyone anywhere can type in a word and instantaneously summon a genuinely beautiful image. The prevailing opinion seems to be that these images are somehow devalued by their ubiquity and accessibility, but I’ve always disagreed with that assessment. 

With this set of paintings, I set out to recontextualize these omnipresent images – to allow the viewer to see them as more than just a reference, a sort of visualization or translation of a word, and to reencounter them as the irreducible aesthetic experiences they really are. The tools of hagiography, gold leaf and oil paint, were the ideal mechanism for that transformation.

My Golden Cows series proposes, perhaps blasphemously, that artificial scarcity has no bearing on the fundamental aesthetic value of an image, despite its longstanding impact on what the market chooses to idolize. 
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