June 17, 2010 · 1 Comments
Bambi Gallery, in Northern Liberties’ bustling Piazza, is currently focusing on a rather curious theme: the artistic and symbolic capabilities of everyday trash. Both Kim Alsbrooks and Andrés Alvarez have chosen to use discarded items as the canvas for their works. While these artists have different points to make, each gives the trash an active voice in their works’ statement.
Alsbrooks’ series, titled White Trash, seeks to capture her frustrations, developed while living in the South, surrounding Southern “prevailing ideologies, in particular, class distinction.” She states that these ideologies seem “based on a combination of myth, biased history, and bizarre sentimentality about old wars and social structures.” This series began with the collection of found flattened trash. Alsbrook then recreates portraits of historical figures, from George Washington to lesser-known privileged families, on a selected piece of trash.
Drawing from portraits that would have originally been painted on ivory, Alsbrooks sees the use of trash as a way of “challenging the perception of the social elite in today’s society.” The presentation of the portraits on wallpaper slivers also suggests the segmentation and gaps within Southern ideologies. The merging of trash and portrait are seamless. At first glance, you are solely struck by their pleasing aesthetic. However, upon closer inspection, the tiny details of advertisement slogans and images create a tumultuous dialog between distinguished sitter and objects of mass consumption. Alsbrooks has definitely made her issues clear.
Andrés Alvarez’s inspiration also came from living in a certain location. Originally from Medellin, Columbia, he moved in 2008 to Scranton, Pennsylvania in order to work at the University of Scranton. During his time there, he had the opportunity to explore the natural landscape and experience American popular culture first hand. These encounters sparked his series, Nutrition Facts, which combines a patchwork underlayer of various cereal boxes with Scranton landscapes over the top. The combination suggests America’s tendency towards the development and consumption of not just goods, but of natural spaces as well. The large scale and blend of colors used in Alvarez’s works are elements that a photo cannot capture. They are worth the visit. Plus, Bambi’s artist consignment shop has some great stuff to check out as well!
Show open through June 27th
Wed/Thurs 1-7 pm
Friday 1-7 pm
Saturday noon – 7 pm
Sunday noon – 5 pm