When it comes to my taste in Contemporary art, two things that always draw me in are clever appropriation and subversive absurdity. I just love that shit. And that is part of the reason I had such a good time at this exhibit called I Went to School with Someone Called Jonathon Monk, which is over at the Casey Kaplan Gallery. You should check it out.
For this extremely fun and cerebrally stimulating exhibit, artist Jonathan Monk (whose first name is intentionally misspelled in the exhibit’s title) interprets significant biographical events in his own life by filtering his art projects through the works of artists that have influenced him. Or something like that. According to the Press Release, Monk’s work “is a continuing engagement with notions of authorship and identity, as he recasts iconic works of art with a consistent and incisive humor.” Take a look at the above photo, for example.
In the gallery’s front room, you’ll see the above pictured work entitled A Copy Of Deflated Sculpture No. 1, which any art fan can tell immediately is a knock off of an iconic, Jeff Koons Inflatable. What you might not know is that the sculpture is “a facsimile of Monk’s subtly deflated copy of Jeff Koon’s iconic inflatable bunny, exhibited in his 2009 exhibition with the gallery, The Inflated Deflated.” Does your brain hurt yet? Mine does.
Here are additional works we enjoyed!
Together Again But Always Alone (2014) is a miniature statue of Paul McCartney dressed in a paint-smeared Santa suit, which references artist Paul McCarthy’s 1999 performance piece, Tokyo Santa. So genius.
Figurative Sandwich (2014) features two Black and White prints (Vintage foundation garment ads) on either side of a sheet of Radiant Plexiglas, which possibly references the works of Dan Graham.
You’ll Never See My Face In Kansas City (2007) Enamel Paint on Volkswagen Type I Beetle Hood.
From One State To Another (Sewn Together To Make A Whole) (2014), Souvenir scarves from every American state sewn together in the shape of the country, a reference to the embroidered maps of the late Alighiero Boetti.
Mistakes Have Been Made (2014), Marble Sculpture of Child’s Skull-Shaped Eraser.
From the Year I was Born Until the Year I Left America (2014), 31 C-prints mounted on Medium Density Fiberboard.
Three Part Piece (Untitled Wood Destroyed). Taking a lost, early wooden sculpture by American minimalist Carl Andre as its starting point, Monk displays the work in three variations – a charred replica, a photograph of its original condition, as well as video documentation of the work burning (seen in the photo above).
I Went to School With Someone Called Jonathon Monk will be on Exhibit Through October 18th, 2014 at Casey Kaplan Gallery, located at 525 West 21st Street, in the Chelsea Gallery District.