February 1 – February 28, 2021
Daniel Stumeier examines American popular culture—specifically that of the Midwest. His choice of imagery reflects his experiences growing up in rural Illinois and contemplation of these experiences against America’s attitudes toward class, race, and masculinity.
Vanilla Pride is a large-scale replica of an American flag-patterned Little Trees air freshener. The name of the work retains the original title of the scent of the object, a title that is disturbingly similar to white pride. Combined with the iconography of the American flag, it resonates as a potent metaphor for how deeply ingrained white supremacy and “patriotism” are in American culture. This has become painfully obvious over the course of the last four years and especially after the recent capital riots by Trump supporters. The flag, hanging outside, will suffer from exposure to natural elements, and like the Trump administration and his supporters, will not last. Trump’s presidency and Little Tree air fresheners may start with a strong presence but are ultimately disposable.
Daniel Stumeier is a St. Louis-based artist and educator. His artwork has been exhibited at the Schmidt Art Center, Monaco, Reese Gallery, Granite City Art and Design District, and fort gondo compound for the arts. Stumeier holds a B.F.A. from Southern Illinois University Edwardsville and an M.F.A. from the Sam Fox School of Design and Visual Art at Washington University.