Most of my physical experiences were never represented in the popular entertainment our family consumed when I was a child. So whenever Idaho was mentioned or referenced, those few images were branded into my brain. I forever see Marilyn Monroe in River of No Return or wearing an Idaho potato sack dress.
These moments in pop culture made no effort to accurately describe Idaho. The state was just a prop. In the few references that exist, Idaho is usually a lawless territory or a potato farm. I see great reclamation potential in taking these cliche moments and flipping them around. E.g. making Marilyn Monroe a support and brief reference for Idaho, the River of No Return, or even Idaho's agriculture. The original focal point now becomes a brief, even obscure nod to Hollywood, the U.S. entertainment industry, and the actress herself. Marilyn is no longer represented by her body or facial features, but by her hair style in the film, River of No Return, and a potato plant blossom.
The intended audience is flipped as well. Instead of producing an image or movie intended for mass dissemination, the work is singular and hand painted. Idahoans now are the target audience. This is not to say I want to shut out all others from the artwork. Anyone can possibly enjoy Marilyn and the River of No Return but physical time spent within Idaho and the American West makes for a much richer appreciation and understanding of the work.