Aryon Hoselton demonstrating the flashlight by Sto. The flashlight stands by itself, without human intervention. The tent is by Kelie Bowman, and the papier mache objects are all by Sto. The two of them run Cinders Gallery.
The show if filled with work that mixes DIY and yearning for a simpler time; that brand of nostalgia is all over the place right now. But it’s definitely a tip-top example of this sort of work–searching through American history for some kind of authenticity, and using DIY and arts & crafts techniques to evoke authenticity and the American spirit.
The highlights for me were the papier mache lights by Sto. It’s not that I haven’t seen achingly earnest DIY remakes of high-tech and deadpan takes on quotidian objects before. But Sto, besides making the flashlight and the desk lamp, also made into papier mache the yellow shafts of light the “lamps” emit. The light shaft then holds up the lights!
Sto, My space my things, detail; in this group, the papier mache tape hanging from the edge of the desk, and the marble painting on the notebook were my favorite touches. I also liked the Sharpie, Bic and pencil.
papier mache objects
Sto uses the real objects underneath the papier mache. So the marble notebook has a marble notebook inside, and the scissors are real scissors, coated with papier mache. This isn’t really gilding the lily. It’s making the lily his own product.
That’s not to say that the rest of the show isn’t interesting. It is. What follows here is a picture post with a comment or two.
George Ferrandi’s stitched images are cartoony, sometimes deliberately crude. I loved the couple in bed in the pocket. That Ferrandi specifies the work is “scratch-made” is a reflection this desire for something authentic.
I loved these for their departure from anything remotely resembling fact while being beautiful. The piece looks a little bit American Indian, a little bit Polish or Ukrainian. I’m also reminded of Hilary Harp and Suzie Silver’s antic orgies in the woods.
Esther Pearl Watson’s NASA accident, like Furie’s Space Camp, brings the future into mundane terms–an accident, a grass fire, and an AWOL astronaut-ette. She looks like a naughty kid, not a sophisticated space venturer.
Unlike William Kentridge’s tapestries of people on the move, Bonajo’s photos show naked, vulnerable women held in thrall and punished by their possessions. That sense of waste and insatiable consumerism is what made me want to put this up, although I didn’t think the photos quite captured the humor that the title implies.
This one seems pretty close to Bonajo’s work in spirit, but it goes in another direction as well–the battle of the sexes, the housekeeper vs. the unruly male. Either way, we’re all drowning in stuff.
Others in the exhibit are Hilary Pecis, The Meteor, Shawn Reed, and David Horvitz.