"IT’S THAT GOOD, AN INSTALLATION APPROPRIATING A 21ST-CENTURY CONSUMERIST REALITY WHILE INCORPORATING ART HISTORY AND CHALLENGING PRECONCEIVED NOTIONS OF PAINTING AND OF FLATNESS. MOREOVER, IT MAKES THE PAINTINGS MOBILE, FUNCTIONAL AND SCULPTURAL AND, AS WITH COMMERCE, THE BRAND IS IMPERATIVE."
Kristen Peterson, Las Vegas Weekly
Retrofit Painting (2013) is a conceptual art brand I created to market and sell paintings crafted as objects for everyday use. The designer products, part parody part praise, range from ready-to-wear painting shoes, bags, sunglasses, hats, and other custom accessories. In 2015 I was invited by The Art Production Fund of New York as their summer artist-in-residence at Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas Casino and Resort. There I constructed dozens of wearable stretched canvases using laser-cut oak, sewn linen, and 3D printed brass, and transformed the appearance of their art studio (positioned amongst shops and restaurants) into a high-end retail boutique. For five weeks the public was invited to browse the quasi-paintings, try them on, and even model for advertisements. It connected the ideas and motifs of minimalist painters such as Robert Ryman and Franz Erhard Walther to the commercial kitsch and retail experience of The Strip.
Within the context of Las Vegas and beyond, Retrofit Painting appropriates high production media, commercial advertising, minimal design, and capitalist business practices to expound on and bring into question the potency and consumption of surface in the marketplace.
Merchandise available on the piece's website:
Retrofit Painting of Las Vegas was made possible by:
Special thanks to Casey Fremont, Kathleen Lynch, Krista Chmielewski, Justin Favela, Eric Petitti, David Ryan, Camille Dantin, Mikayla Whitmore, Darlin Frometa, Michael Maizels, Claire Whitman, Jessica Doherty, Abby Duren, Kayte Duren, Krystal Ramirez, Jesse Smigel, Jennifer Kleven, Victor Torres, Christie Lee, Audrey Barcio, Larry Knowles, David Teng Olsen, Maggie Devries, Jack Wolfe, and Wellesley College.