Philadelphia, PA — Artist Jonathan Santoro reimagines The Wizard of Oz in his new exhibition Always Chasing Rainbows, appearing November 14, 2020 – January 9, 2021 at The Galleries at Moore, 1916 Race Street, located on The Parkway. The exhibition in the Goldie Paley Gallery window is free and open to the public and can be viewed from Race Street. In accordance with Moore College of Art & Design's guidelines, indoor exhibitions at The Galleries are tentatively closed to the public until further notice because of COVID-19.
In reexamining the franchise through the lens of both personal and cultural memory, Always Chasing Rainbows transforms Dorothy’s oddly matched companions into an assortment of visual misnomers and objects associated with suburban lawn décor, property protection, and spectated punishment. Here, The Galleries at Moore’s Race Street window becomes both a voyeuristic stage and a security arena. Always Chasing Rainbows uses The Wizard of Oz as a vehicle to examine a bygone American dream, exploring ideas around nostalgia as both a sickness and a symptom of an increasingly fervent nationalism, spectacle, surveillance capitalism, and dysfunctional familial relationships wherein even love becomes a tool of control.
Beyond its surface-level presentation of loyal friendship, self-actualization and the virtues of home, The Wizard of Oz presents sublimated themes of American exceptionalism, frontierism, and the omnipresent threat of surveillance and control. In the evergreen American fairytale The Wizard of Oz, the nostalgic yearning for home resounds as a primary theme. Like any good classic, The Wizard of Oz is woven deeply into our cultural consciousness and acts as a reflector of societal values—as well as its blemishes.
About the Artist
Jonathan Santoro is an artist based in Philadelphia. Through means of mimesis, his work utilizes fractured narratives borrowed from mass culture, existential theater and pop psychology to create paradoxical images, where nothing is what it initially appears to be. His work has been exhibited at High~Tide, Bodega, Lord Ludd, Brooklyn Army Terminal for Kara Walker Presents: The Colossus of Rutgers, EFA, Rosenwald Wolf Gallery at UArts, Vox Populi, and the Woodmere Art Museum. He has also curated exhibitions at Pilot Projects and Icebox Project Space. He received his MFA from Mason Gross School of the Arts at Rutgers University in 2020.