Do you hate Donald Trump? I sure do. Dump (which is what I call him exclusively, with a rare exception being this blog post) sucks ass wildly, and he is destroying our country in ways few, if any, of us could have heretofore imagined possible. Dump’s outrageous suckitude inspires many artists to create art out of his likeness, because it makes him easier to mock. Yay! That being said, I was recently pitched a story on Kevin Champeny, a contemporary artist whose medium is creating sculptures made up of other tiny sculptures that are related to whatever the larger image is all about. Watch a video on Kevin’s practice at This Link to see him in action and get a better idea of what I am talking about, because he is truly amazing. Even better, Kevin cites Kris Kuksi (one of our favorites) as a major influence. Awesome.
Staying with his favorite medium, Kevin’s most recent project includes two mosaic portraits, Defiance (Dump) and Fair Game/Defiant (Hillary Clinton), each of which are comprised of 4,000 hand-cast urethane Middle Fingers. Just being serious. Even though I am a huge Hillary fan (#StillWithHer), I knew I had to check out these artworks in person, and fortunately that this was not hard to do. A week or so ago, Kevin (with assistance from his friend, glass truck owner Chris, who formerly ran the pop up Sock Truck out of the mobile glass unit) launched the Defiance / Fair Game Glass Truck Tour in New York City. Over the course of four days (May 3rd – 6th) the truck made stops around town, targeting highly foot-trafficked areas like Union Square Park, The Oculus/ WTC, Madison Square Park, Bryant Park, Times Square, and Pier 94 (where Art Fair NY was taking place). I caught up with the truck while it was parked on Seventh Avenue, just across the street from Madison Square Garden / Penn Station at 5 PM on the Friday evening.
Here I am with Kevin in front of Defiance. Please note that I was originally posed flipping off the portrait, but this is the pose that the photographer sent to me, so, whatever. Kevin looks great and so does the art! While I am unsure of Kevin’s political leanings, he remains completely nonpartisan when discussing the artworks, and I believe this a smart move. It allows for greater freedom of interpretation by the viewer in experiencing each piece, which is what art is all about. Art!
For example, I support and voted for Hillary Clinton, and I still wish she was our President, because that could have prevented so many horrible things that have come to pass since November of 2016. Sadness. I hadn’t planned on including her portrait in the post, but then Kevin explained to me that he co-titled the piece “Defiant” because of how she stood up to all of the haters and endless bullshit that was lobbed at her. And, when you consider it from that perspective, it also reminded me of this meme, which was created during the campaign by my friend Beth.
*Sigh* She is my Hero.
Kevin Champeny’s work is unique, intricate and thought provoking. Get more information on Kevin and his various projects at This Link and follow him on Instagram at @kevinchampeny.