The Sinking of the S.S. Innocence

Jason Sandberg - Madison, Wisconsin

Artist's Statement

The Sinking of the S.S. Innocence is one of a series of works exploring the relationship between violent childhood play and adult war fighting. My subjects arrive from toys and games that I played with as a child. My search looks to find connections between kid’s play and war in America. We seem to have this myth of patriotism that allows children to simulate violent acts as long as they have a legitimized enemy. Changing the scale of toys and game pieces as well as altering their materials allows us to remove the object from its “toy” status and confront it in other contextual situations. 

Artist's Bio
Born in 1973 in Decatur, Illinois, Jason Sandberg grew up in a rural farm community. The son of truck driver and grain company employee, he was surrounded by farm machinery, tractors, semi-trucks and trains. His family got by on a meager income and invested in Lego building bricks, Erector Sets and Kenner Girder and Panel sets. Sandberg used these kits to build entire worlds in the family living room. At ten years old, Jason’s family moved to a larger house in the same rural town. Here he negotiated with his father to get a 10’ x 14’ work room in the basement, and later an equal space in the garage. Once into the garage, he began painting and lettering for family, friends, and local businesses. Always attracted to things with motors, Sandberg began his first business in high school selling truck and car accessories, detailing cars, lettering and sign painting. Without plans for college, Sandberg joined the Air National Guard after finding out that he could be a jet-engine mechanic. After his initial military service working on aircraft weapons systems, Sandberg returned to his hometown and opened a sign shop on Main Street. At this time, he began college part time and worked toward a formal art degree. After six military deployments overseas, Jason moved to Edwardsville, IL, to attend college at Southern Illinois University. Between deployments, Sandberg finished his BFA and got accepted at the University of Wisconsin Madison, where he now lives with his family while he works on his MFA.  

The Sinking of the S.S. Innocence
Photo contributed by Digital Dubuque

Sales price - $4,500