My recent paintings have been focused on the “American dream.” In the past year this concept has been increasingly exposed at an accelerated rate. Our ideas of health, work, community, and quality of life, to name a few, have been squarely put into focus. There’s friction between these ideals and the pursuit of the “American dream” as we know it currently. The tension is evident, and the renegotiation of our values is still ongoing. These factors have left me contemplating the distractions, the facades, and the hapless pursuit of the empty smile.