Why acquisition when you can loot?
Adam Parker Smith curates various objects and artworks nicked from 77 different artists for his solo-project at Lu Magnus in New York. “Thanks” investigates ideas of ownership and how ideas move between artists – either through appropriations, collaborations, or in this case, stealing. Adam was able to lift the works through various studio visits, informing the artists of their loss just two weeks before the show opened. Continuing with his style of one-liners, the items he chose where not random but specific to that particular artist’s practice.
Among the victims is Hugh Hayden, whose Sharp-tail Grouse pelt is a select component from other works. Hugh often uses hair, feathers, skin, bone and other fragments of the living and dead to locate the ways in which human beings interact with one another, the world, and how we record memory. Here, curator Adam Parker Smith isolates the gutted bird more as discarded evidence than a display of beauty or luxury. This feathered corpse is just a sliver of Hugh’s several impressive works that cleverly explore questions of cultural identity though lenses of sex, race and class.
Fuck it let’s get high man. Here, Adam pilfered a small jar of medicinal from his stoner gallery dealer in San Francisco, Andrew McClintock. Your square instinct might question “But how is it art?” Look around dude, what are you cop or something? Take a puff on that Cali kush and you’ll see…or doze off over a bag of Funyuns.
You can almost smell the cheese on this painting by Dennis Kardon. There is a pretty damn near close consensus among just about everybody that ball sacks are sorta gross, which is perhaps what drew me to this piece the most. The repulsion is then cornered by a peculiar witchy hand that slides over the subject’s skin, suggesting a taboo or darkness that lurks in the pits of a man’s groin. But they are fun to play with, right boys?
I imagine this fruity amaretto was sorely missed by Naama Tsabar. This hilarious mockup of a Molotov cocktail is just an almondy taste of her other excellent bodies of work that are installation and paraphernalia driven. Made a few years ago, I wonder if this Italian liquore is in fact a statement, trophy or conceptual fragment of the political upheaval happening in Italy at that time in their new era of austerity and conservatism.
Naama’s stolen good couples nicely with Esperanza Mayobre’s gold brick and phony cash. The brick itself is loaded with perfect and timeless irony, implying the constant global struggle between the wealthy and the powerless. Her stack of make believe dough was from a project she did a few years back where she imagined herself paying the Third World’s debt and, in her honor, would be commemorated on this Venezuelan 1,000 dollar bill.
“Thanks” is on view now through April 26 at Lu Magnus.
Contributed by Dean Dempsey.
Note: All Photos courtesy of Lu Magnus and Adam Parker Smith.