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Thomas Chung, Painting
For UAA painting professor Thomas Chung, the Divine is more than a pale, white-bearded man caressing fingers with Adam. Rather, a mythic image is a dead and putrid whale carcass. Religious experience is painting the visage of Angelina Jolie pouring a plastic bottle of Coke on a starving Ethiopian child she is breastfeeding, along with a pig. God is a Cheeto.
“I’m hoping for corporate sponsorship one day,” Chung joked in his kitchen/work space in North Anchorage that also looked like a taxidermy studio for a set from a Rob Zombie horror film. “It goes back to my interest for the sacred and profane. I think Cheetos are the most unsacred appearing thing, the most banal, everyday object. How could there possibly be a shred of God or anything mystical or spiritual in a bag of Cheetos? I don’t I know, I believe there is.”
The cheesy snack food makes multiple appearances in his work, including a painting of a raven clutching a single, orange puffed crisp in its beak, which will appear in Chung’s latest exhibition “1F14: That’s not God.”Anchorage Press: God is a Cheeto