King Me: Dan Wickerham and Malcolm Lomax at the Open Space

A little more than a week ago, Dan Wickerham and Malcolm Lomax came together for a collaborative exhibition for Open Space‘s second show. The statement that supplemented the event on facebook read as such:

Bibs. Hand smeared rags. Fragrant flyers passed out by muscles. And Creative Hangovers. The work attemps to repackage a set of motifs: black pretzels, leisure, work and labor, vacations, journals, morning preparation, transparent Casper, work clothes, sweet and salty sex, image as sculpture, masks, soaps, snacks as lunches, beards, bugs, and hot showers.
Baguettes, broom handles, grommeted belts, cool whip, doggy doors, lipstick, red bull caves, gold balls, silver birds, bronze lids, caged bird, hood ornaments, pin stripped suits, streetwear, weather vain, pizza delivery. Basically, the works are tarred and feathered.

My attempt to provide a summation of the show in my own words will not be directed by any sort of critique of the work presented since I do not have adequate exposure on a critical or artistic level to comfortably approach the exhibit in such a light. Instead, I wanted to simply recall insights that I had found within the pieces.

I come from a very traditional place within my art making. I am most moved and drawn by the image, the painted surface, which is a tendency that lends itself potentially to be attracted to safe work. Thus, initially, upon experiencing King Me, it was admittedly difficult to access because I feel that I am not as versed in sculptural vocabulary or theory concerning such issues.  But the presence and the amount of investment that I felt suffused within the work demanded that I revisit and spend more time in the gallery. So I did end of coming back to see the show a second time.

Essentially, to cut to the chase after such a lengthy preamble, I thought the most successful aspect of the show was the two artists finding their own, distinct and precise visual vocabulary. Their tremendous accumulation of objects became articulated in the very specific choices and decisions they made by revisiting key motifs in various contexts.

I found my conception of process progressively more destabilized the longer that I stayed in the space. It challenged me to determine what in fact the work was, and furthermore how they resolved each piece. I constantly kept on asking myself, how did they come to this choice? How did they decide to cast a sneaker, paint it silver, and lay a poster over it. Moreover, how do I come to such places of constitution and composition within my own art?

These seemingly disparate elements within the work were all brought together into cohesion by their repetition and reemergence in other pieces. The recurring red light bulbs, Rudolf the Reindeer, the marijuana tiles, the bricks, the pizza boxes, the toast, the connections are innumerable. They all correlated to build a narrative that was towards something that I was honestly not quite clear on. Yet, they demanded an attention towards their application and an investigation into their refined intention.

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