James Chae

Natural Energy

Energy drinks perpetuate a myth of extreme excess. Death may be right around the corner, but until then it’s all maximum potential, peak performance, and total enjoyment. There is an unrealistic desire in this claim of superhuman power. The lifestyle and the message energy drinks promote push the boundaries of reality to the extreme. The play between the fake and real in this hyperbolic space fascinates me.

Relating back to Hamen y Léon’s painting, I asked myself, “How would I paint a contemporary still life?” This video and photographs become a reflection of contemporary actualization and attainment. Like a still life painting rendered with extreme precision and a sharpness clearer than reality, I play out the attraction and repulsion of this synthetic environment. A plastic fountain bubbles with an unnatural pink liquid, while a saturated blue drips into acrylic containers.

Scattered through out the tight space are fabric flowers used to cheaply decorate a home. The bright colors, gurgling liquids, and intense lights all bounce off the mirrored space, creating a sensation of both allure and disgust.