Published by Karma Books, New York. Text by Keith Mayerson, Ann Craven, Gary Panter. Interview by Celeste Dupuy-Spencer.
New York–based painter Keith Mayerson (born 1966) is inspired by symbols of American history and pop culture. He depicts familiar figures who have affected the country’s consciousness—in addition to personal scenes and his abstract “iconscapes”—through microscopic brushstrokes and coloring. While his formal qualities hint at a French Impressionist influence, his images also evoke the spiritual and cultural commentary of the Symbolists as well as the more visionary aspects of American modernists and the Old Masters. In this survey, Mayerson constructs what he calls a “wordless novel” for the 21st century: an alternate history in which the cultural landscape of American politics is reconstructed to emphasize belonging and understanding. Since the George W. Bush era, his long-running nonlinear narrative My American Dream has been presented in separate catalogs as “chapters,” and the ongoing series continues through today. This latest chapter features hundreds of works ranging in date from 1997 to 2021, replete with a foreword by cartoonist Gary Panter, an essay by painter Ann Craven and a conversation between Keith Mayerson and painter Celeste Dupuy-Spencer.