Brandland at Powell's Books Basil Hallward Gallery was put together by the ad
giant Weiden and Kennedy's W+K 12
school so one has to consider this student work. An entertaining romp, it is good for laughs at things most of us already know about art and advertising.
For instance "Burger Christ" runs on cognitive dissonance, it's a one
liner repeated over and over again, and not quite as good as seen on the Family
Guy or someone like Banksy
. Still, it works because like a lot of advertising its broadly targeted inside
joke resonates with most everyone of a nonchristian & nonfast-food background, creating
a sense of sneering belonging. It doesn't try to be great art, it's entertainment and group cohesion,
which can only be distinguished from art in that it fades away faster and costs less. The verdict
for Burger Christ; not as memorable as the Big
ad for Burger King, which has a a somewhat better chance of
ending up in a major art museum?
I did enjoy the Abe One project where a limited edition Nike sneaker's tread
has been altered to become a limited edition stamp of the the great emancipator's
image. It feels silly to consider but could it be that 151 years after his assassination
Abe's already high approval ratings are rising again? To cash in on the wave,
prints can be purchased framed or unframed.
There is also a somewhat dull video which pairs various types of people with
logos associated with Fendi, Zima, Coca Cola etc
and acts as a kind of
which one fits best game. Too bad the best fits are predictable and felt like a massive
waste of time. The real show stealer here is Justin "Scrappers" Morrison
who's impressive style and wit keep this exercise from feeling like the assignment
it is. Sure, the work here isn't as good or noble as his Oregonian Gentleman's Club
show a few months ago, but he is an artistically promiscuous artist. His
ubiquitous additions to this show may not be great art but if I wanted to place
tourism ads for Portland in the New Yorker he'd be my first call.
The rest of the show?... well it is overcrowded and limited to one-liner gags (like too many Portland group shows, especially the ones with lots of San Franciscians
) and doesn't
penetrate the images it uses so much as serve them up buffet style, but it is
worth a trip if you are in a sarcastic mood.
the Basil Hallward Gallery is in the Pearl section of Powells
1005 W Burnside
Portland, OR 97209
The show was entertaining, but unfortunately, that is really all it was. But "Scrappers" was one of the best. There was one other one I liked, but I can't remember who or what it was... Hmmm. I guess I will have to go look again.