Diamonds Cut Diamonds is a show curated by artist Johnston Foster. A showcase for five emerging sculptors making their New York City debuts, the exhibition emphasizes each artist’s hands-on exploration of materiality, process, and creation. In presenting objects made of the most mundane materials varying widely in scale, material, and concept, these artists strike a balance between whimsy and soulfulness, humor and creepiness.
Brian Basnett’s sculptures are the product of a loose, poetic and spontaneous approach to object- making. Having no hierarchy when using and choosing materials, his sculptures exemplify their construction in a melancholy manner. Using found plastics that he melts and reconfigures, his versions of a wheelbarrow and a hammer have an awkward, even ghostly presence. Basnett pulls out the essence of an object, and re-presents it so that the soul of that object is laid open for all to see in its barest and purest form.
Dave Choi’s sculptures at first seem inspired by science fiction, but on further inspection appear to be closer to what soon could be science reality. Mutations, cancers, the changing environment, and fragile ecosystems fuel Choi’s imagery as he fabricates a series of over-evolved creatures in the midst of a constant struggle to survive. Just as his creatures seem to be the result of ongoing mutation, his practice is that of an artist creating work through a constant process of altering his materials through hands-on problem solving as he makes his work.
Morgan Herrin carves Classical Roman/Renaissance-inspired sculptures from pink and blue foam with a skill and craft worthy of the artists he simultaneously pays tribute to and critiques. Driven by the quest to create the ideal physical form, Herrin complicates matters by subtly asserting his fascination with internal anatomy. In his two untitled works (both 2005), he exposes a large open slice of skull and brain in the perfectly carved bust of Caesar, and shows a cross-section of bones, veins, and arteries in his flawlessly carved, oversized hand of Adam inspired by Michelangelo’s Sistine Chapel.
Kate Horne’s imagery derives from her own universe of made-up characters and creatures that are the starting point for all of her work. Her personal mythologies are a reflection of her relationships, experiences and observations, both big and small. Applying various techniques to paper, she has created two horse heads that seem to be in violent and unbreakable conversation with each other. The horses come alive with twisted manes, neither of the two acknowledging the folly of their incompatible reasoning. Horne reflects on our own realities by following her impulse to create parallel worlds and then filling them with a cast of characters that are more like us than we would care to admit.
Ryan Kitson makes objects that are simultaneously subtle, critical, and smart-ass. Well-versed in casting, mold making, and other industrial methods of object making, he uses these skills in creating sculptures that at first seem overly self-aware of their institutional form of creation. This soon gives way to his subtle application of insidiousness inspired by mass-produced dollar store trinkets, cheap imitations of high-end objects, and society’s obsession with consumption and waste. Kitson’s work simultaneously fills that niche and mocks it.