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Giant Art Balls Roll Through an NYC Gallery Space

How would a Mister Softee ice cream truck look resized into a metal-hinged ball?

by Diana Shi
24 September 2016, 2:30pm

All images courtesy Marlborough Chelsea and the artist

What if the parking lot of a Costco was compressed into a giant tar snowball? How would a Mister Softee ice cream truck look resized into a metal-hinged ball?

These are some of the uncanny possibilities rolled up in Lars Fisk’s solo show comprised of several types of New York spheres. Housed inside the Marlborough Chelsea gallery, the Mr. Softee show, titled after one of its most prominent pieces, features seven rotund works ranging from more than two dozen in diameter, to other works that barely measure larger than a fingernail. Each ball encapsulates a certain piece of New York iconography.

At one corner of the gallery is the overwhelming girth of a large parking lot globe painted with fresh, white stripes, titled Lot Ball. The largest piece from the exhibit, measuring in at 15 feet across, is a force of asphalt and polystyrene and the centerpiece of Fisk’s show. The piece draws from the actual configurations of a Costco parking lot in Queens—yellow curbsides and all. Fisk chooses his New York imagery with the grounded sense of what an onlooker would say is commonplace and ordinary without veering into cliché. Then there is the reproduction of a cobblestone road as old-school New York, while a silver-colored installation modeled on a garbage pail distorts the regular impression of a junky, curbside receptable.

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Fisk tells The Creators Project, "These works are a part of a series that I’ve been developing since 1996, the first iteration being Streetball: a simple asphalt sphere that took on the identity of a roadway by being painted with a dashed yellow line. I questioned how this particular thing, usually understood as something linear and ongoing might still be recognized even if extracted as a distinct object."

Fisk continues, addressing his idea of reality distortion in art: "After producing the Streetball, I realized that any ordinary thing could be subjected to the same process. For example, we know a tree to be linear and branching and a UPS truck to be brown and boxy but if these, or any other commonly recognized thing are transformed into such standardized units, can we still see them for what they are not?"

The Mr. Softee exhibit by Lars Fisk shows at Marlborough Chelsea from September 8 – October 15, 2016. To find more details about the show, click here.

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