As American franchises have expanded across the globe, people throughout the world can experience the same convenience of a fast food chain like McDonald’s. Brands and logos have become recognizable motifs used by contemporary artists responding to the unique subjects of their time. The assimilation of this corporate culture across many countries, languages, and traditions both unites us in a common global language and also affects our sense of local presence. Compare the ways in which Lilihong’s China- McDonald (Flowers and Birds) and Jeff Brouws’ Franchised Landscape #8, Tennessee, 1997 comment on an expanding global tradition and its impact on various communities.
Li Lihong (b. 1974) China – McDonald (Flowers and Birds)
Purchased with funds provided by Curtis Atkisson and Andrew and Sandy Lai
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Lihong’s porcelain sculpture combines a traditional Chinese aesthetic with a recognizable fast-food brand. In doing so, he juxtaposes something that can be considered “cheap” with something precious. He also shows how a familiar branding icon can be transformed by the local culture into which it is assimilated.
Jeff Brouws explores the familiar fast food and gas station signs that dot the roads of America, highlighting both the similarities and differences among the towns and cities in which they are located.