Even Better Than the Real Thing
Wignall Museum of Contemporary Art, Chaffey College
Rancho Cucamonga, CA
August 23 – September 25, 2010

Curated by Jennifer Frias

Artist’s reception: August 24, 6-9pm
(in conjunction with CAA/Arts Complex Grand Opening event, 5-7pm)

Even Better Than the Real Thing observes the edges of perception. It takes into account the notion of “defamiliarization,” or the artistic technique of forcing the audience to see common things in an unfamiliar or strange way in order to enhance perception of the familiar. Ten contemporary artists fulfill this concept by making the everyday uncanny. While the procedure to achieve such realistic and hi-tech qualities may appear mass-produced, the objects in the exhibition were constructed meticulously by applying basic, traditional art and handcraft techniques, such as painting, drawing, sculpting and sewing. Pop Art has an ongoing significance and works like Claes Oldenburg’s Lipstick (1969-74) made of massive steel and Andy Warhol’s cardboard painted Brillo Boxes (1964) set the precedence of utilizing unanticipated resources and methods to fashion the common object. The works selected for Even Better Than the Real Thing posses characteristics that are visually arresting, seductive, and at times, disturbing. The results undertake an unsettling realism and issue a challenge to art’s alleged dedication to the world of appearances. Artists include: Jon Bonser, Joe Davidson, Ben Jackel, Kiel Johnson, Nina Katchadourian, Rebecca Morales, Kristen Morgin, Kaz Oshiro, Derek Parker, Andy Ralph, Laura Splan, Stephanie Syjuco.

I just got emailed some images from the show: I contributed works from the notMOMA series (Warhol, On Kawara, Beuys) and also seven new paperback books from the “Modern Prometheus” text series… Images courtesy of fellow artist Petronio Bendito.

Images courtesy of fellow artist Petronio Bendito. Photos by Xun Xi.