Saturday, March 30, 2013

Friends with You at MCLEMOI GALLERY - 30 March

Second stop in Chippendale and first time at MCLEMOI GALLERY.  I hadn't been here before primarily because I didn't realise how close it was to MOP et al.  It is just around the corner on Chippen Street.  I had put this on our Saturday gallery crawl itinerary with two of my junior critics in mind as the current exhibition (on until 11 April) is by an art collective called 'Friends With You' who to be fair rock an aesthetic that 5 year old girls can definitely associate with in a Yo Gabba Gabba / Hello Kitty kind of way.

Friends With You (I am going to use FWY to save my 4 fingered typing some time) are actually a US based collective of 2 artists.  Not surprisingly Murakami is listed as an influence as are other Big Lamington favourites Yayoi Kusama and Jeff Koons.  I was also reminded of Australian artist Nell who is also fond of the smiley face on inanimate objects.  I am probably not going out on a limb when I say they have a reasonably commercial look, I mean part of their artist statement is trademarked! Seriously, 'Magic, Luck, and Friendship™'!  Definitely blurring the line between art and commerce. I thought my girls would've run around here looking at all the smiley art works (like the floor sculpture, 'infinity pool' above) but they were captivated by a FWY video that was playing on a computer here. With all the good merchandising going on in this show (unique pieces, editions, prints, books and artist toys) I was surprised that video wasn't burned onto a DVD as an open edition. I think there might have been a sale (especially considering where they could've gone with the video art packaging, a la collector's space). Overall a good show, certainly successful in encouraging playfulness and laughter. Did they succeed in becoming friends with Big Lamington? I'd say yes.

Points:  3 points to the Infinity Pond, I liked it but I certainly don't have the floorspace for a floor sculpture of these proportions (147 x 213cm).  2 points to for the rainbow (top).  This was lasercut mdf and car paint and at 94 x 69 x 15 cm would look great on a mantelpiece in a kids room.  1 point to the video, Cloudy (screen shot above).  FWY have put it up on youtube so you can see it yourself here.  Now that I know where this gallery is I will be sure to include MCLEMOI on future escapades to the inner west.

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