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Wednesday 10.11.06

« Paula Rebsom's Debut at Tilt Gallery | Main | PORT's latest addition »

Brandland at Powell's Books

Burger Christ

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 Huckin' Chicken 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

Posted by Jeff Jahn on October 11, 2006 at 12:35 | Comments (1)


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.

Posted by: Calvin Carl [TypeKey Profile Page] at October 12, 2006 02:04 AM

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