The Super Can Man and Other Illustrated Classics
Exhibition dates: April 3 – May 3, 2014
Opening reception: Thursday, April 3, 6-8 PM
Morgin reimagines objects to which she is drawn. The exhibition is populated with sculptures of super heroes and heroines found in comic books, fairy tales and popular culture. Some work is re-created as a single object, such as a Little Golden Book edition of Hansel and Gretel. Other work, like The Ugly Duckling, is seemingly reimaged from repurposed materials one may have on hand – the stub of a pencil, a Skippy peanut butter jar top and two painted pieces of wood. All the work, however, is composed primarily of unfired clay and paint.
The work in the exhibition exposes the presence of time. Often the sculptures have been ‘vandalized’ with stickers or ‘doodled’ on with markers. The edges of record albums appear torn and bottle caps seem rusted with age. Such weathering and vandalism may be unavoidable when objects exist in the world for an extended time period. By illustrating the history of an object through wear and tear, Morgin looks at how the dignity an article possesses when new might be gradually stripped away over time or even be wholly replaced.
The artist’s choice of material is integral to the work. When selecting an object to represent, Morgin often considers how value may be assigned to it. Is it ascribed by the material from which it is created or is it associated with authorship, historical context or sentimental value? Does the fact that it has been preserved lead to increased value or is an item that no longer exists of greater value? Morgin’s works are made from soil to which she gives life. The trompe l’oiel in the work is not only a demonstration of her skill but what may give the objects their worth.
Kristen Morgin was born in 1968 in Brunswick, GA. Her work was featured in Overthrown: Clay Without Limits, Denver Art Museum, 12th Istanbul Biennial, Huckleberry Finn at CCA Wattis Institute for Contemporary Art in San Francisco, Unmonumental at the New Museum in New York, Thing at UCLA Hammer Museum in Los Angeles, Red Eye at the Rubell Family Collection in Miami. Morgin lives and works in Gardena, CA.