Luxury, identity, class, perversity, carnality, playfulness… Royal Oaks’ Butter Projects has stirred it all together to create a thoughtful visual feast that describes what lies on the surface and what lies beneath. “THEM” is loosely framed around portraiture, commonly defined as a representation or likeness of a specific individual, but each artist has gone far beyond the mere creation of a likeness to portray the unseen reality below the surface.
Thirty-three beautifully rendered black and white gestural portrait studies by William Irving Singer anchor the show against an meticulously painted blue brocade background. The portraits, which are made with black acrylic on coarse un-primed canvas, comment ironically on the society portrait as a signifier of wealth and importance. The lone likeness by Singer which features color, entitled Some Sort of Lunch Line, seems to portray a member of the have-not class who nonetheless sports a kind of jaunty elegance.
Works by Lauren Kalman consist of fetishistic photographs of hooded women. The effect of these photographs is ominous and seems to indicate that the woman portrayed is engaged in some kind of luxurious pearl-encrusted sex play. She is not powerless, but she is immobilized.
The photographs are accompanied by formal hood-like clay or pigskin sculptures, some with corks or objects stuffed in the apertures where one would expect to find eyes or mouths. They are both humorous and disturbing.
As if to add some lightness to this otherwise serious exploration of the self, Butter Projects has included three-dimensional work from artist Kat Burdine. These canines are engaged in doing what dogs do and doing it with abandon: pooping, groveling and licking…no inner angst here. Entitled “Strays” these chunky life-sized wooden creatures project a kind of joy in spite of their displacement.
During the run of the exhibition, Butter Projects will hold open hours Saturdays and Sundays from 1-3pm. Additional hours can be made by appointment. Them will be on exhibit until May 7, 2016
Butter Projects is an artist run studio and exhibition space. For more information contact Alison Wong firstname.lastname@example.org
Butter Projects, 814 W. 11 Mile, Royal Oak, MI 48067