With his hugely successful first forays into public art and social practice, Ankrom’s freeway sign project, Guerrilla Public Service, ushered in his unique form of political and social critique which both mocks and interrogates with an acidic positioning of humorous disdain for societal dysfunction and plots class warfare. Using historical research, he creates works which combine technology and honed craft skills to make deliberate and direct social commentary.
Ankron’s projects have addressed the internment of Japanese Americans during WWII, the historical battle sites in California between Mexican and American forces and forms of visual propaganda used by the government, among others.
Riffing on the ready-mades of Duchamp, the kitsch of Koons and the uneasy sexual currents of McCarthy, Ankrom’s figurine series tears into consumer society and the nostalgic saccharine of American Utopianism with a humorous but contemptuous abandon. Ideas of freedom, control and suppression are the subtext here. Again, it is the political landscape which configures the reading of Ankrom’s work.
In addition, Manifest Destiny, his series of flags placed subversively in public spaces without permission, acts as another call to self awareness vis-á-vis how we are represented and the way our voices are appropriated by systems of Power to enact violations of human dignity, while highlighting our Imperial tendencies.
His work includes sculpture, video, signs, actions, paintings and more—all geared toward a sense of outrage that fuels his practice. Now, more than ever, his work has moved into a position of exceptional relevance with its focus on the relationship between government, history, language, suppression and human rights.