W.B. Mason Truck
I started the work when I first noticed a W.B. Mason truck passing by Boston University, and people delivering boxes with paper for printers. I was fascinated by their logo describing a man with a mustache and two American flags standing by his side. Something about the logo really intrigued me, so I started to search on the internet about the company’s ownership, history, and economic past.
William Betts Mason founded the company in 1898 in Boston, MA and constructed its headquarters in Brockton, MA. The company started as a small family business. As the city of Brockton expanded in the early 20th century, W.B. Mason increased its sales and became a major office supply company.
The company continued as a family owned and operated business until the late 1920s, when the company was sold to an employee, Samuel Kovner. He started his career by sweeping the floors at W.B. Mason as a boy. Under Kovner, the company continued to grow and today has become international.
When I started to work, I didn't think about the truck or installation at all. My first instinct was to release thoughts related to the logo through historical, political and social themes. I tried to ask questions about the way we consume products and what the iconography symbolizes for me as a visual artist, and also as a foreigner. The way I am dealing with readymade and ideas of our everyday life is like a little child, playing inside his room, searching for some kind of identity in a world full of multiplicity and distortion. I decided to collect as many pieces of cardboard as I could and started to work with the logo by manipulating and creating a psychedelic visual world that surrounds it and projects what it symbolizes for me.
At this point, I found myself less and less interested in oil paintings on canvas and began to question, how can the cardboard serve me? What do I want to say in my work? The need to purchase art materials has become one of the questions I ask in my work. Except for using gesso and acrylic paints I already had, I used only found cardboard and wood.
So I created a small truck model out of cardboard inspired by the original truck an action that eventually led me to think about building a truck in the dimensions of a studio space.
My decision to create a studio-sized truck made me think about how to physically present the work with purposeful relation to the white cube. These thoughts led me to place the work in the ramp space as a site-specific installation. The truck faces the exit of the building.
As soon as I started to work on the truck, the painted cardboard walls, and the construction of the truck’s wooden skeleton, new questions arose, especially in regard to relationship between the outside and the interior. How do I react to the truck when I look at it from the outside? What does it evoke in me as an observer? And what happens to me when I enter the truck?
I have spent a few weeks working on the interior of the space. In doing so, I’m connecting to my personal history and memories of family, home and childhood. Then, it was natural to look at the interior space as my own private room/studio. The work inside the truck made me understand more carefully the importance of my early gestures and the way I am moving my body around the visual space.
I decided I have to keep parts of the interior space bare in order to give the observer the feeling he or she can interact with the work.