To enter Sly is to enter a visual world where subversion, playfulness and double meanings reign supreme. As Curator Katerina Wong states, “Sly is an exhibition that features work that, each in its own way, winks at, plays with, or otherwise befuddles the viewer. It is an invitation to the viewer to allow him or herself to be played…with.” Through their cunning schemes, the artists’ challenge the viewer to move past the outer shell of an object or idea in order to arrive inside their stances on history, perception, gender and craft.
Laurel Farrin’s alternate versions of Mondrian and Malevich paintings and Micki Watanabe Spiller’s transformations of literature into sculptural narratives are whimsical gestures that re-contextualize implied histories into subjective translations. James Huang inverts the functionality or framework of an object into its antithesis or female form while simultaneously commenting on male identity, growth and production. Through the use of photography, Brendan Mulcahy and Anton Sinkewich investigate the subtle intersection of perception and reality by exploiting the minute differences in seemingly homogeneous environments. As a collective entity, Sly converts the art experience into an interactive game that, as Wong expresses, enables the viewer “to knowingly allow artists to set the parameters of that game – whether it calls us to question the art historical canon or poke fun at our own ideas of gender or craft. Sly is an ever-changing stance.”