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Artist statement on the work:

On the surface, Heroes + Villains is a concept series reconnecting adults with their childhood imagination using everyday items to create character. At its core, this series is escapism. As most people age, imagination gets lost somewhere in the shuffle of adult life. Stress takes over. Things get taken for granted over the constant I wants and need. The dreams shift from the fantastical to, for some, just getting by and making ends meet. For others, those dreams get passed down to children and forgotten for themselves. This series strives to bring that sense of wonder back to adults and to remind people of their dreams and to step back and appreciate life a bit more. This series takes into consideration that not everyone’s desires and dreams are the same for each of us, but some do overlap at times.

Underneath that, this series is about acceptance and appreciation. In the world of fiction, especially in comics and cartoons, there has always been societies accepting of those that are different. The real world often fears what is the not the norm to them. Heroes + Villains originally was intended to represent different phases of life. It was always about growth to me. It was about building self-confidence and finding self-acceptance for who I am. People have a way of breaking you down and I needed to rediscover myself over time. I started at the beginning of my life with a child sense of wonder and grew from there. Over time, what started as a selfish need to feel like I belonged become a unifying lesson that we all long to be celebrated and appreciated. We can be our biggest heroes or our own worst villains to both ourselves and others. The choice is always ours. The use of everyday items and people was always a solidification of the idea that we often take for granted what we have right in front of us. It’s easier sometimes to discount vs. appreciating.

I encourage you to treat me as a hero or a villain based on my work. This show is a social test on acceptance and symbolism. These images are always about the people in them vs. any reference made or referred to. These images do not ignore the past in social and art history but often embraces it in the context of the world today. This is my celebration of the idea the one can be anything or anyone they desire to be. If you imagine it, it can come to life.

-Philip Bonneau

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