A sculpture and a painting by Brooklyner Andrew Smenos, shown together in a tight group show at Freight + Volume gallery in Chelsea in New York. Neither object alone much interests me (too cute) but the combination brings up all sorts of issues about how representation and realism work. Here we have a real animal, turned into an imaginary creature, which is then realized as a very small toy in wood, which is in turn reproduced as a fairly faithful and very large oil painting – which feels stylized, despite its strong roots in the world. The “toy” starts feeling like an experimental prop from a psych lab.
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