This painting is a second in (at least) a trilogy of paintings that goes:
- Grocery Knight (or, My First Socialwork Paycheck)
- Starbucks Astronaut (or, the Infinite Emptiness of the Drive Through)
- Angels over Taco Bell (or…(TBD))
I’ve been painting semi-autobiographical metaphorical paintings about my very boring, normal life. I posted about Harrisburg- working at Starbucks, where I almost got fired for incompetence, was one of the most anxiety producing experiences of my often anxiety filled life. Waking up at 4:00 in the morning and then handing drinks out- I felt like I was floating in space.
I’ve been making these paintings to have at least two levels, one personal, one about the situation itself. The other level to this painting (for me, at least; death of the author, etc.) is about the different universes separating the person in the car from the person in the drive through. Have you ever thought about what a different experience the two people are having? At Starbucks people would buy six dollar drinks, and I would take the stale pastries home to cut down on my food budget. Even more, there’s such a wide variance to people who use the drive through. Hugely different walks of life uniting in a shared experience of getting coffee. There’s also big differences between the staff in the drive through places. That moment of interaction is weirdly a touchpoint for two people who would otherwise have no reason to meet.
As we lose more and more shared public spaces where you see and interact with the larger community, I think it’s increasingly important to be mindful and celebrate the IRL experiences that we have. I think that even for the mass produced, often criticized experiences provided to us by the corporate world.
Anyway, here’s Starbucks Astronaut. Enjoy.