When over 50 exhibitors from 16 cities converge on San Francisco for the fifth installment of the Untitled, Art, exciting art abounds. From a critique on the absurdity of an unbiased historical narrative to explorations of excessive media consumption, The Creators Project tracked down some of the most compelling works for your viewing pleasure.
Luis Hidalgo at WALDEN
In his REmediation series, Luis Hidalgo explores the idea that new types of media aren’t created in a vacuum and are instead progressions of older media, technologies, and operations. Through surrealist imagery in textile and 3D-printed porcelain, Hidalgo visualizes the complex relationships involved in the media economy.
“In this series of works he made a collection of information in a database. What he’s trying to do is make a copy of the digital world,” a WALDEN representative explains to The Creators Project.
Federico Solmi at Galerie Anita Beckers
Satirizing the farce that is an "objective" historical narrative, Federico Solmi’s delightfully garish mashups parade the likes of Marie Antoinette and Mussolini on the red carpet to the sounds of bombastic marching music and paparazzi cameras.
“He wants the viewer to realize that history is a construct written by the winners and survivors,” a Galerie Anita Beckers representative tells The Creators Project. In an accompanying work, George Washington, Napoleon, and The Pope are greeted by cheering and waving Native Americans as they ride ships to shore. Leaf confetti floats through the air, partying ensues.
Sanford Biggers at Moniquemeloche
Using vintage textiles, Sanford Biggers bases Supposition off of an African sculpture in his personal collection, Moniquemeloche gallery director Aniko Berman explains to The Creators Project. “Particularly when it comes to the Underground Railroad, quilts were often used to convey messages or show places for safe passage. He’s very much interested in the cultural coding of textiles,” Berman says.
Goshka Macuga at Andrew Kreps
Within the larger fair, a selection of seven large-scale, site-specific installations under the name UNTITLED Monuments are displayed. One of these works, by Goshka Macuga (with Andrew Kreps), was particularly eye-catching—note the colorful, disembodied heads, obviously. As the title suggests, these heads, skewered together by thin rods, belong to iconic historical figures, fictional and larger than life.
“What I like about this piece is that it’s basically the notion of an anti-monument. The way he places the figures on the floor… Rather than the notion of the monument which is something that transcends everything, it’s almost humanizing,” Untitled, San Francisco artistic director Omar López-Chahoud describes to The Creators Project.
Parker Ito at Château Shatto
Also part of the Monuments installations, a piece by Parker Ito, at the fair with Château Shatto, dangles numerous punctured bodies of an old-timey mascot from tangles of chains and wire lights. The mascot, Western Exterminator, belongs to a California-based pest control company of the same name, established in the 1920s. The maimed and constrained blue-collar icon of yore was later repurposed under the name Pesterminator in the 1990s, the lead character in a Super Nintendo Game.
Chris Coy at Anat Ebgi
Chris Coy flipped it and reversed it in his chromed-out version of Jean-Honoré Fragonard’s canonical The Swing. According to a gallery representative, Coy achieved the hyperreal detail in Tommy Sunday by first sketching the original work in virtual reality as a point of reference.
Galeria Max Estrella art director Amelie Aranguren explains that the multitude of tiny cascading screens which form a sort of digital tapestry is connected to a live stream of CNN. “It’s about the impossibility of retaining information that’s constantly streaming at us and the fleeting nature of that information. How information dissipates after a few seconds,” Aranguren says.
Amna Asghar at Harmony Murphy Gallery
Sourcing images from her mom’s old beauty magazines and gradients from zoomed-in stills of Aladdin, Amna Asghar explores the visual narratives of race and culture, a Harmony Murphy Gallery representative tells The Creators Project. Because Asghar is of Pakistani descent but doesn’t read Arabic, her work deals with the resulting cultural friction.
“Amna Asghar’s paintings appropriate images from the popular culture of the Indian sub-continent, enacting various modes of quotation, translation, mis-translation, hybridity and overlap in her juxtapositions. These groupings are inspired by the remixing and sample layering of hip-hop in an attempt to visually describe the complicated realities of the politics of race and culture,” the gallery explains.
Nando Alvarez-Perez at Interface
A statue in a photo, resting in a still-life, in a photo on a panel in an installation. The heavily layered tromp l'oeil constructions of Nando Alvarez-Perez play with themes of domesticity and classical art and mess with perceptions of depth, scale, and perspective.
“This artist is working a lot with juxtapositions and bringing different images in relationship to one another and looking at the formal and expressive possibilities that it brings about,” explains Interface gallery director Suzanne L'Heureux.
The next Untitled, Art will take place in Miami from December 6 to 10.