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Art review: Chad Person at Mark Moore

August 6, 2010 | 10:21 am

400.mayor1 For his first solo show in L.A., at Mark Moore, Albuquerque-based Chad Person presents three separate bodies of work, all of which verge on clever critique but fall short. For his “Tax Cuts” series, Person dices and collages U.S. currency into images of military weaponry. The fighter planes, tanks and missiles are literally made of money — a one-liner that the artist does not develop with any conceptual or visual rigor.

Two huge inflatable sculptures in the main gallery give a jolt of edgy humor that fades quickly and leaves little to ponder. One represents an obsolete McDonald’s character, Mayor McCheese, who slouches in a corner as if exhausted, air continuously pumping in and sighing out of him. The other features a giant version of the red-orange Mobil Oil Pegasus logo on its side atop a glossy black puddle, meant to suggest oil. The winged creature doesn’t look defeated by the dark slick nor greedily sustained by it. The symbolism remains untapped, inert.

400.thirst4 The third grouping, in the smaller gallery, is most promising. It revolves around the conversion of Person’s backyard swimming pool into a fortified bunker. The RECESS project (standing for “resource exhaustion crisis evacuation safety shelter") entails homespun weapons and animal traps, fashioned from miscellaneous household goods and art supplies: pipes, twine, glue, golf balls, a dishwasher rack, parakeet feathers, speaker wire and a tube for storing art. Survivalism meets DIY craft and generates a touch of charm, and a welcome bit of friction.

-- Leah Ollman

Mark Moore Gallery, Bergamot Station, 2525 Michigan Ave., Santa Monica, (310) 453-3031, through Aug. 14. Closed Sunday and Monday. www.markmooregallery.com

Images: "The Mayor Rests" (top) and "Thirst." Courtesy of Mark Moore Gallery.

Comments () | Archives (5)

This show looks pretty fantastic to me. I see a ton of visual vigor and a really clear concept of a political indictment of corporate/ government use of selling fear to America fostering Bunker mentality mixed with apathy. I also sense a hope of how maybe people might start to see thru it and learn to protest war again.
The weapons made out of money are a gold plated idea. I love the violence mixed with sweet corporate logos. I have to wonder if the reviewer is stymied by a clear very masculine political vision by the artist that doesn't leave a whole lot of room for the reviewer to pontificate on hidden meanings and artsy ambiguity. Thus the reviewer feels left out and sulks about a truly amazing show.

The top looks like our finishing guy, Jaime, after another bout of late night inbibing, just got him a ginseng green tea drink to get him through the last shipment. his liver, alas, is beyond comprehension. the fallen pegasus reveals the depths of our fallen passions, not enough cartoon time to reveal the true meaning of life, the Teletubbies fired him for a hummer.
Another sign of the apocalypse. Whose steed was the red one?

"The fighter planes, tanks and missiles are literally made of money — a one-liner that the artist does not develop with any conceptual or visual rigor."

Unfortunately this reviewer has failed to realize that the straightforward representation of the fighter planes, etc. is not a one liner. In fact, the stark representation of these objects through their materials in such visceral and familiar forms calls the viewer to examine their/our relationship with the dollar.

The conceptual responsibility of these pieces lies within the viewer, and such, is is up to debate.

If you choose them to be a one-liner, so be it. However if you choose to accept the stark nature and "naked" representation of these objects as a chance to pass your own judgement on our current social and political environment, they begin to transcend these simple decisions.

So, contempt conceptual "art" is limited to the life experiences, or lack therof, and feel for life in teh viewer? I knew it! Rejoice those with no life, you got toys!

And thank god we have a military, got two kids in it, one a Seageant in teh Army, lost his teeth in Iraq, and the other an Annapolis grad who is giving up his lieutenant grade to enter med school tomorrow. You wouldnt be sitting there typing about self absorbed delusions of importance if not for our military. How we use it is the issue, and that comes down to US, the voters, and who we put in control of it. It is not THEM, it is always US.

i am proud of how our m ilitary has actd in both Iraq and Afghanistan, the remarkable few issues involved considering teh stress and civil war atmposphere has been remarkable, msot of the outrages been by contractors like Blackwater. One prison site doesn not indict the entire military. when people are blowing up and shooting, decisions are never clear cut, they have shown remarkable restraint, and perhaps teh first time in history "conquered' nations dont want their occupiers to leave.

As Pres Obama and St Paul both have said, it is time to put aside childish things. Contempt "art" is as dead as its still birthed arrival, time for art to serve US, not the miniscule childs daycare centers of the academies. We ALL have jobs to do, and that includes artists. Time to fulfill your role in our common culture, not your own.

Save the Watts Towers, tear down the Ivories.



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