Creation Date



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gumball machine with extended cast iron pole, gumballs, polymer clay, etching on paper, and vinyl


Dimensions: 6 x 3 feet

Artist Statement

I am interested in human behavior, and believe that people usually have reasons for their actions and choices. I have found some insight into the human psyche by researching psychologist Abraham Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs Theory. Maslow theorizes that human self-actualization occurs as a person first satisfies basic physical needs, then more complex emotional needs, driven, one need after another, step-by -step up the hierarchical ladder. Maslow’s theory helped shape the theme and construction of my current works.

My communication strategy in these works is influenced by the early political cartoonists. Many early cartoons were etchings or other hand pulled print processed works. The artists often used animals or other likable characters to make a political comment on pressing issues of their times. Political and social unrest seems to be a timeless subject matter. I have adopted this genre to take the edge off of the difficult social issues I am asking the viewer to consider.

The Surrealists sought to access the power of our imaginations by delving into our unconscious thoughts. I have always admired the creativity of the Surrealists’ works. I often fall asleep thinking of a visual I am working on and wake up with some crazy creative solution to my image. My current works feel like a modern-day extension of the Surrealist movement.

By applying Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs Theory to current social issues and creating works using traditional political cartooning techniques and Surrealist sensibilities, I am hoping to create a new and interesting way of thinking about our modern social problems. These works address our sense of place and space, feelings of scarcity, lack of or access to resources, the misuse and overuse of resources-- and hopefully offer us a small window of hope.


© Wendy Christine Blickenstaff, 2018.


printmaking, intaglio, surrealism, philanthropic, nature, activist