Thursday, May 13, 2010

Shaquille O'Neal: Curator.

On my recent trip to New York, I saw two shows put together by superstar curators.  One was curated by super art star Jeff Koons (more on that in a later post) and the other was created by super basketball star Shaquille O'Neal.  That's right, I said Shaquille O'Neil.  And believe it or not, I liked Shaq's show better.

The exhibit was Size Does Matter at the FLAG Art Foundation.  I'd never even heard of the the FLAG Art Foundation but I read a write up of this show and it sounded interesting. And since I was headed to Chelsea anyway, I thought I'd stop by.  I'm glad I did.

This show speaks to how scale challenges our perceptions about the world around us. And there were some great works.  Get off the elevator and you're greeted by another elevator.  A little teeny-tiny elevator that's built into the gallery wall, the doors opening and closing with a cute little ping.  It was almost as if some invisible executive mice were secretly riding to their office jobs somewhere within the gallery walls.

There were pieces so small that you had to look through a microscope to see them. There were works that were portraits of Shaq.  And there were plenty of works by some of the best artists working today.  Here are a few photos of some of my favorites.

Works by Ron Mueck make the internet rounds on a fairly regular basis. And while the photos that land in your mailbox are amazing, they can't compare with the creepy, oversized realism of the actual sculptures.  This is Untitled (Big Man), (2000, Pigmented polyester resin on fiberglass.)

Tom Friedman's work always interests me.  This giant deconstruction and reconstruction of Excedrin boxes is freaky.  I know it looks like this is just a blurry photo but that's how the scultpure actually looks.  It's enough to make you want some Excedrin.  It's called largeexcedrinbox, (2006, Excedrin boxes).

I love this next photo for two reasons: First, the sculpture is really cool and I'm still not sure how they stuffed it into the smallish gallery.  Second, Il Gatito (a.k.a. Felix) looks ridiculously small and adorable.  Which totally makes me laugh.  No Title (Table and Six Chairs), (2003, painted aluminum) is by Robert Therrien.

Therrien also created No Title (Stacked Plates), (2006, plastic).  This giant, hapazard stack of dishes did something fairly amazing.  If  you walked around the sculpture, it appeared to be animated.  The plates looked as if they were wobbling precariously.

There were a lot of works that played with perspective in strange ways.  A great example is Evan Penny's Stretch #2, (2003, silicon, fabric, and hair).  This larger than life bust makes you feel like someone screwed up the resolution settings on your eyeballs.

And possibly the creepiest piece I saw during my entire New York trip was Richard Dupont's Untitled (Terminal Stage), (2008, cast polyurethane resin).  This photo can't really show how weird this sculpture was.  The human figures were flatened and stretched.  And yet as you walked around them you'd arrive at just the right perspective and suddenly they looked totally normal. 

And one final photo, an installation view of one of the galleries.

Size Does Matter runs through May 27.

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