Cliffs, Bluffs and Steamy Lowlands
Through June 1st.
Cliffs, Bluffs and Steamy Lowlands , Nick Paparone's first exhibition at Vox Populi, almost smells like a male adolescent that hasn't yet learned to use deodorant. If each separate sculpture and print were a painting you could say Mr. Paparone's palette was heavy on the reds and yellows associated with fast food restaurants, comic books, and the logos of corporate america. The work is compelling and repulsive at the same time.
The duel manipulated posters of Cindy Crawford; 400 Horsepower #1 and 2 (Mr. Paparone cleverly used the one with bananas for hair as his announcement card) are so gorgeous you almost want to lick them. In them Cindy is glistening in her revealing yellow bathing suit, chest puffed out, feminine and yet looking remarkably strong. The addition of fruit to her head turns the image upside down; instead of being a subject of masturbation and sexual fantasy her image becomes absurdist in nature. If this is representative of a Freudian-type fear of being dominated by sex then the artist has made a marvelous attempt at exorcising the demon.
400 Horsepower #2
The tour de force of the exhibition is easy enough to find as it dominates the entire space, leaving the other artworks little room to breathe; King Kiosk is a about the size of a garden shack with no entrance and completely covered by comic books. The eyes at the bottom of the structure, compounded with the sticks jutting out the top (which to me read as a sort of deer-antler-like attachment) lend the object animate properties, yet it has a shelf, almost (obviously) like a kiosk. Perhaps most mysterious is the fact that it wears chains. If I were to draw conclusions they would again be sexual, adolescent, and angst-ridden in nature. It is an object that seems like it could explode from the various forces pulling at it at any instant.
A moment of rest, though it too seems a little dangerous comes, quite literally, from a light in the corner. The Wonder Wander, a stand alone corner lamp, seemingly circa 1990, has a motorized spinning globe, laminated with aluminum foil and colored with markers, about it's middle. Immediately I think of this song.
The Wonder Wander
(It should be noted that all the exhibits at Vox Populi are good right now and in due time I hope to talk about Stefan Abrams and Jack Sloss.)