Royal Treats Artist's Statement
Royal Treats is a body of work that was partially conceived in the fall of 1994.
It was put on hold, however, while I undertook the commission to paint The Fourteen Stations of the Cross for St. David’s
Anglican Church in Vancouver, BC.
Before I took on the Stations of the Cross, my initial ideas for
Royal Treats were to encompass images of superstition and ritual set in fast-food restaurants. The paintings Royal Treats
and Sandwich Artist reflect these themes. Royal Treats, which takes place in a Dairy Queen, is loosely based on the Catholic
ritual of communion while Sandwich Artist takes a more pagan approach by depicting a palm reading at a Subway sandwich shop.
Two other works, Fast Food Ritual I & II, also deal with similar notions.
After completing the
Stations of the Cross in early 1996 I returned to Royal Treats. I was faced with the task of rounding out the four works I
had planned with five or six more. I was eager to further explore imagery dealing with fast-food and pop culture. Taking a
cue from the names of Burger King and Dairy Queen I decided to complete Royal Treats with images encompassing royalty and
The work, Behold the King, shows a coronation of a fast-food restaurant employee outside
of a Burger King. The second work, So Begins The Reign, shows a coronation-type anointing with a chocolate sundae outside
of a Dairy Queen.
A smaller work, Preserve, Protect and Defend, shows a KFC employee swearing
an oath on a three-piece-chicken-dinner. Another work, McDonald’s Nation, shows two more McDonalds employees standing
in front of the ‘Golden Arches’ with their hands over their hearts in a pledge-of-allegiance. I also did a small
self-portrait titled, Uneasy Lies The Head That Wears The Crown’, showing myself dressed as a Burger King manager wearing
St Edward’s crown (the crown used in British coronations). I sit in front of a Burger King logo. The title is taken
from the Shakespeare play, Henry the Fourth, Part Two.
My choice in depicting elements of the fast-food
industry is a simple one. I feel that fast-food exemplifies North American culture and our attitudes towards life. We want
things fast, cheap, and disposable. They rule over us in an almost kingly fashion in the way they shape our ‘get-it
As with previous paintings, I have included no real message behind each individual
work. I try to create paintings that can be interpreted in as many ways as there are viewers.