by Kelly Inouye
Artist, designer, architect and furniture maker Roy McMakin examines the artistry and nostalgia associated with furniture and domestic space. Some of the work in his solo show at Anthony Meier Fine Arts takes this nostalgia/furniture relationship a bit further. In his ongoing series titled Used/Use, McMakin meticulously replicates pieces of vintage furniture. The originals are installed on the gallery wall while the replicas are displayed more traditionally as, well, furniture. Some of them can actually be used.
At first glance I thought the show would, at best, offer some boring commentary on the long-established artistic viability of the readymade. But McMakin’s work raises interesting questions about the odd ways we assign emotional and economic value to objects. Why does something as mundane as furniture take on so much emotional value over time? Is an artful object more valuable than a useful one? You won’t find answers to these questions at this show, however, because all of McMakin’s “everyday objects” are extremely valuable, useless or not.
McMakin’s work is on view through March 29th at Anthony Meier Fine Arts (www.anthonymeierfinearts.com). The gallery will also exhibit a curated presentation of McMakin’s work at The Armory Show in New York March 6-10 at Chelsea Piers.