Nothing is what it seems. Art thrives on such thematic truisms because they are universal like the human spirit. Shakespeare’s plays, for instance, have lasted for centuries because they are full of such idioms. “All that gilsters is not gold,” from The Merchant of Venice is one of those phrases. It’s also the name of the current exhibit at the artist-run studio and exhibition space in Little Haiti, Laundromat Art Space. It is closing tonight on June 22, with a celebration.With eleven artists participating, the works feature a plethora of elements: glitter, glam, falsity, illusion, and misrepresentation, so common in modern art. They include pop culture and political references. The pieces make onlookers look twice.
One such piece is from Damien Hirst’s “Wreck of the Unbelievable.” It is a digital print on fabric titled “telo mare submerged demon with bowl,” and it displays a relic from a shipwreck. Curator Erin Parish explained his piece: “Somebody found a relic from the wreck of a boat called the Unbelievable and a dive team came and found all these treasures. He had them moved to Venice during the last Biennale. It was a huge exhibition, but the whole thing was fake. He made up a documentary. It is a reproduction of a photograph.”
In this piece the sense of authorship is questioned. “He sculpted hundreds of things and no one person could have done everything. He definitely had a bevy of assistants. He pretended to find a wreck. I don’t know how many people were fooled knowing they were going to see a Damien Hirst,” mentioned Perish.
Jeff Koons is another world-renowned artist exhibiting a piece at Laundromat for this exhibit. His piece is called “Goat.” It includes a blow up dolphin, a stool, a blow up tire and an enormous autographed book about Muhammed Ali, measuring 71 * 34 * 62 inches and worth 1,000 dollars. “Koons likes to mix disparate elements together,” said Perish, “he is presenting this child’s toy as art.”
Meridith Allen is also one of the artists in the show. Her piece, “Tail Number 54” is “ambiguous,” explained Perish, “there’s a mystery about what’s going on there, but it is actually part of a horsy ride in front of a supermarket.”
Overall, “All That Glisters is Not Gold” presents interesting works that will make you look twice. From golden toilets, to sculptures made of golden buttons, to a portrait of Michael Jackson and a plaque for Donald Trump, the exhibit presents the idea of things being not what they seem. I recommend dropping in if you’re looking for something fun, artsy and engaging to do tonight.
All That Glisters Is Not Gold
Closing Event! + Open Studios!
Saturday, June 22, 5 PM – 9 PM