What’s the score, George Shaw?
Matthew Sleeth, Chrysler Building Obsession, Fire Extinguisher Obsession, Surveillance [Images courtesy Claire Oliver Gallery]
There is no downside to obsession if the result is the beautiful documentary photography for which Australian Matthew Sleeth is highly regarded. In Magnificent Obsessions at the Claire Oliver Gallery, Sleeth’s compulsion with defining pattern in chaos takes him to various cities around the world to show us his and humankind’s indexical fascination with typology and repetition. The exhibition also includes video works and 3-D printed ceramic surveillance cameras dotted throughout, which remind us this is a show about looking and finding beauty wherever our gaze falls.
John Waters, Bill’s Stroller, Fellini’s 8½, Grim Reaper, Separate But Equal
As long as gold can be mined from the seamy underside of life, you’ll find John Waters gladly chipping away. In his show Beverly Hills John at Marianne Boesky, Waters tackles what he describes as “personal issues of childhood fame, fear of false glamour, nouveau riche comforts, and sexual predilections” with LOL humour and teeth-gnashing perversity. The works include appropriated and reconfigured film stills; sculpture; photography; re-purposed readymades; and the pièce de résistance Kiddie Flamingoes, a 74-minute video of a Pink Flamingos table read recast with child actors.
Devin Troy Strother, Installation view, Installation view, I got a Kelley Walker all over my MJ’s (Air Walker Part 2) The problem continues, Just a bunch of niggas in space, Re-edited, (Tell that nigga Jordan, he made a mess trying to be Gerhard Richter.)
In the most ambitious part of his show Space Jam at Marlborough Chelsea, Devin Troy Strother transforms an entire room into a basketball court installation. The title references the eponymous 90s film while playing with the definitions of space as physical area and galactic travel, and the vernacular meaning of jam as the verb “to do something quickly.” A custom-made, movie theatre-style carpet welcomes visitors to paintings, sculptures, and installations that mash notions of art history, pop culture, and cinema in a frenzy of colours and cross-references.