Sunday, September 29, 2013

Various Small Booktures & A Few Drawings James Prez; at the Mulberry Street Branch of the New York Public Library.

Ostensibly an exhibit, these little fairy tale objects manifest as an alternative, Disney-esque universe in a Grimm influenced art installation.
The library space perfectly suits what I imagine was the artist’s vision of a path through a forest of literature, paved with books serving as pedestals, for the artist’s odd collection of collectables. Like the genie from the bottle, these 3D sculptural assemblages could be conjured from the pages of their tomes.
Tucked among library shelves and browsing patrons, Prez’s trail of painted ceramic tidbits salvaged from flea markets and yard sales, draw you into their offbeat, child-like context of wonderland fantasy.
Their up-close appeal and goofy detailing provide a sense of peering into disjointed scenes that could be part of some kooky stage play frozen in the moment. They are intriguing vignettes from snippets of kitsch that exist to contemplatively amuse, while stimulating a slightly perverse notion of peeping into the recesses of the repressed Victorian psyche.
Collectively the pieces seem invested in a kind of joyful, yet earnest innocence, but perhaps there’s is a sly bit of irony at work here; who needs a white walls and fussy technique to achieve ingenious results?

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