All That Glitters Is Not Gold
Astute observers of the human condition from Shakespeare to Spongebob Squarepants (yes he's a sponge … but a smart one) have warned that "all that glitters is not gold". Four artists address this timely lesson in the exhibition, which includes: Julia Hechtman's small, gold sculptures, Kenji Nakayama's signage, Kathleen O'Hara's glitter installation and Ben Sloat's video fireplace.
Julia Hechtman collects the bones of very small animals, covers them in gold and/or silver leaf, then reassembles them to create small, fetish-like sculptures. Hechtman's use of precious metal changes the viewer's relationship to the objects on display. Not only does she perform the midas-like transformation of natural, once-living things into objects with a quantifiable monetary value, but she also prompts us to examine the way we evaluate worth, both personally and culturally.
"The future's uncertain, but the end is always near." - Jim Morrison.
45 Shades of Gold, Kathleen O'Hara's portrait of Donald Trump, is a grid of forty five, 5x5" panels, each a different shade of gold glitter. When installed, the piece stands 6'3" tall, Trump's actual height. Drawing on her experience as a greeting card artist, O'Hara sees the glitzy, ever changing quality of glitter as the perfect material to embody the character of our 45th president.
In Ben Sloat's video Yule, a gilded log burns perpetually, giving us a spectacle that reinforces the present moment while suggesting an unyielding and future destruction. Though the piece is simultaneously disarming and destructive, Yule's irony (and perhaps hope) lies in the fact that, due to the nature of the medium, nothing actually happens.