One must speak reverentially of masterpieces, that’s well understood. But does the pleasure of aesthetic contemplation really compare to the satisfaction of knowing you’ve just scored a great bargain? We may praise works displaying outstanding artistry, skill, or workmanship, but when we vote with our feet it seems that what we really love is a cheap-knock off… Hey, no one needs to know you got your ‘Louis’ bag on
, right? Canal
Canal Street Boogie-Woogie, Dirk Westphal’s new series of nail-polish Mondrians (more images), makes no attempt to resolve the internal conflict between high and low. The work plays on this tension; and, even better, it’s one of those beautiful things that let you have it both ways. Kind of like Jimi Hendrix playing The Star-Spangled Banner, which goes down like a frosty mug of patriotism but with a nice jolt of rebellion as a chaser, Westphal makes cover versions of works that aspired to Neo-Platonic purity out of tacky bargain bin materials. They’re clean and dirty all at once. You can high five yourself for being a culturally sophisticated art-world know-it-all and a savvy shopper who just got a bargain.
Works from Canal Street Boogie-Woogie and Westphal’s new artists’ book (in an edition of 50 signed and numbered copies) will be featured at the 6 Decades/Boo-Hooray Holiday Shop, open 11-6 Monday-Saturday from December 10th through the 23rd, with opening night festivities on Saturday, December 10, from 6-8pm.