“Objects” marks Alan Belcher’s return to New York, after seventeen years and is made up of two sets of new oil paintings that both focus on the modern, globalized art market.
On view at Marlborough Gallery on Broome St., Belcher’s new work calls attention to the nature of the art world, and further, the global market.
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He then shrink wraps each painting to mirror the actual packaging of the real sneakers as though they were just another pair of shoes waiting to be sold.
Continuing in the second room, beyond the sneaker paintings, belcher has created a series of stock ticker paintings, which were also “manufactured” in China.
But unlike Warhol, Belcher doesn’t merely elevate the mundane, he makes sure to pick obscure collectible sneakers with rare color ways and designs, representing the feverish desire so many sneaker heads have when buying the obscure footwear.While Belcher wants to discuss the insular nature of the art world with his work, the themes of the pieces also reflect upon something larger than just the fiscally minded art world.Called “10.5,” the small paintings are all the exact same size and share the same fundamental composition: a single Nike Sneaker perfectly centered in the square frame.Like Warhol did before him with his individual Campbell’s Soup can paintings, Belcher fills the space with small painting after painting depicting of the iconic sneakers.
Belcher must understand the duality of his work, and the modern reality of corporate globalism, knowing that while so many American kids spend hundreds, sometimes thousands of dollars on each new pair of Nikes, a slew of Chinese kids on the other side of the globe are being paid pennies to put the Nike shoes together.
Belcher goes one step further with this absurd dichotomy by hiring Chinese artists to paint each painting for him.