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This Side of Paradise, by Nick Paparone

Nick Paparone, This Side of Paradise, installation at Copy. Image provided by the artist.
Nick Paparone, This Side of Paradise, installation at Copy. Image provided by the artist.

That sly boots Nick Paparone wrote us a note declaring that his current installation at Copy Gallery was a “life changing experience.” I really like Nick’s work (not to mention Nick himself) and it probably was a good move on his part, given that I for one was less than likely to make it to this particular show. (I should mention in all fairness that Paparone is one of the founders of Copy Gallery, although I wouldn’t call this a vanity show).

Well, turns out it wasn’t a life-changing experience for Nick (oh, Nick, next time you tell me it was a life-changing experience, I probably won’t be moved). But I sure did enjoy the installation, This side of Paradise, a surround-sound immersion with three inflatable figures made of plastic bags. The bags are powered up by three box fans that also serve as slightly raised pedestals on blocks.

For starters, dumb mechanics never fail to steal my heart. The box fans are perfect as far as I’m concerned!

Nick Paparone, who has lately been exploring the shock of having grown up.

The figures are painted–two dressed in jeans and t-shirts, one scribbled with a graffiti dress. They appear to grunt (or at least a sound track does) in a language that sounds half Inuit, half teenage-boy inarticulate. In other words, these guys are not fully hatched adults.

Therefore, on the wall are three sculptures of giant sunny-side-up eggs, their wavy edges radiating out in drawn lines, creating a forcefield of youthful unformed-ness. The highlight of the eggs is the yolks–inverted Martha Stewart yellow plastic bowls. After the show, Nick said he’d use them to scramble eggs. A fourth wall shows portraits of eggs.

It’s the fans and the soundtrack that make the show. The radiating egg imagery, like the youths, are kind of funny, psychedelic, and a little unformed around the edges. In other words, while they amplify the subject, they also feel just a tad off-target.

Nick also has a piece, done in collaboration with Jamie Dillon, up at Abington Art Center‘s sculpture garden. Here’s Annette’s post and here’s mine.

Copy will be open Saturday and Sunday, noon to 5 p.m.