The amazing popularity of Instagram —simultaneously reinforced and dampened by numerous brands advertising their “visual story” — allows for casual, mediated cultural voyeurism of all kinds, including art. While there is the convenience of searching for images from the latest art fairs with taps on a smartphone, most photographed artworks look subpar at best. The situation gets worse as many are “filtered” and made-up.
However, at Mark Moore Gallery’s current group exhibition, David Klamen appears to embrace this less-than-mediocre badness in his series of technically superb yet badly framed (photographically speaking) paintings of famous paintings. There are Andy, Pablo, Piet, and Milo to name a few. Regardless of Klamen’s original source materials, the skewed perspective immediately echoes the visual zeitgeist shared by so many bad Instagram photos. This compositional device makes his paintings enjoyably relevant in today’s on-screen culture.
Klamen’s paintings of paintings by famous artists question the originality and the value of appropriation (think Sturtevant minus social media), but his witty approach is actually terrifically meta. It is probably just a matter of time before another painter comes along and start painting a picture of his paintings of famous paintings uploaded on Instagram. The possibility is endless, fueled by seemingly silly but endearingly curious thirst for authenticity.
David Klamen’s paintings are part of Mark Moore Gallery‘s Art Culver City Los Angeles group exhibition. It’s a GO-INSTAGRAM-IT.
All images badly framed and shot by author.