Apps for Obama

 
 
Currently on View at
The title of the large tiled piece, Apps for Obama (2011), though this is an abstract painting, encourages the allusion to the screen of a smart phone with the hovering shapes that are like buttons on a touch screen. While these collorfull buttons are not meant to be physically touched or poked, their bubbled and, crinkled forms invite mental probing and questioning. “Apps” are also programs designed to perform certain functions, and the obscurity of what the apps in this painting are leave us wondering what kind of apps Whitten would recommend for Obama. Whitten often takes current political events and responds to them in his artwork. What are they made of? Can you poke into their folds and find another world behind them? It's as if the artist wants us to see the "apps" as partially occluded views into future possibilities, or as vehicles for nonverbal, prophetic advice to our president. If you wanted to create an art piece  for the future president of America, what would it be?