On August 13th, a 2nd Friday of the month in 1993, the first of two solo shows at SOUTHSIDE GALLERY was called NEW PRODUCE, named in reference to a found object painting in the show titled ‘ S C A P E. The panel features a collaged tomato hovering above a small metal elephant that appears to be running through an imperiled landscape. The piece references a threatened biosphere and the unknown dangers of genetically modified foods. Ten other ound object sculptural paintings hung on the wall and sheets of yellow cellophane hung in the windows, filtering light into the gallery’s stage-like window bay where four more found object sculptures would be found.
One sculpture in the window was a ready made pair of BLACK CAT bundles of fireworks, circa 1980. They were displayed on a small black wooden table. Next to these in the center of the window was a sculpture called PORTASCOPE. Constructed of six wooden honey comb frames from the inside of a beehive, the structure supports collected novelty items and various charms and oddities. Functioning as a generator of ideas, it holds candy, firecrackers and other fragments of ephemera on lines of white suture. Hanging within this construct are five glass tubes containing black and clear glass marbles, honey, glitter and IBM punchcard confetti.
Also in the window was a little wooden box of tempera and egg dyeing colors. Displayed in its lid, a postcard proclaiming LA MOMIA MAS PEQUENA DEL MUNDO portrays a scene of a diminutive dried up baby companioned by three mummified old toddlers and an ancient man’s severed and dehydrated head.
Fourth on stage was a glass fishbowl on a yellow silk scarf placed on a stool. The scarf is printed in a repeating pattern of blue horse heads, each collared by a lucky horseshoe. The fishbowl held tickets for the drawing to decide who would win THE LIFE OF MR. PEANUT. Winner took a yellow Cracker Jack lapel pin of Mr. Peanut, attached by wrapped thread around a small painted box of sand.
The wall sculpture shown here is titled ADJUNCT. A painted bundle of newspaper, it holds miniature elements evoking the sense of an artifact, the vestigial remains of a remote Eden. A brass parrot perches under a line of bone and glass beads that entice the captive spirit tomove them. The caged bird still remembers its native environment. -Roy Bigler