Andy died but he never went away. Virtually omnipresent, his reach extends far beyond the confines of auction houses and museums. He lives in the popular culture. A few years back, many eager shoppers raided Target stores to get their hands on the limited commemorative edition of Campbell’s soup cans. Uniqlo has been selling the licensed images on T-shirts by the metric ton. Even during the recent online firestorm over Richard Prince’s Instagram paintings, Andy’s fingerprints have been visible all over the fiasco. Staying true to the spirit of tapping into the bourgeois ethos, works by Penelope Umbrico and David Klamen, at Mark Moore’s group show In Bloom, are most Warholian and smirky.
Comprised by 11 members from the gallery’s roster, the artists have tackled an “assignment,” responding to Andy’s famed flower image (which also hangs in the show). Umbrico’s printed canvas features the identical image grabbed from art.com website. The comp image still has its watermark. The resolution is low. The color is off. Everything about the print is wrong. The work would make a great example of what not to do in graphic design 101. But of course, given the context, the image reeks of ostensible cleverness. Andy must be smiling.
Instead of employing a mechanized process, Klamen reproduces the flower image in a trompe l’oeil style, complete with the mat, frame, shadows, and wall painted on the canvas. The appreciation for the technical mastery, however, quickly yields to the fascination of the rather awkward choice by the artist to compose in the profile view. Precisely because the painting registers as photorealistic, the effect is that of a badly shot Instagram photo. Andy must be itching for the app.
In Bloom is on view through this Saturday, June 13, 2015 at Mark Moore Gallery. It’s a FUN-LITTLE-BUFFET.
All images by author for editorial purposes only.