BROADWAY 1602 is pleased to announce BOHEMIAN MONSTERS, an exhibition of sculptures by New York based artist Daniel McDonald. In his first solo exhibition, McDonald presents a series of constructions in which dollhouse-scale interiors of tenement dwellings are populated with classic movie monster collectable figurines. Frankenstein, The Bride of Frankenstein, The Phantom of The Opera, Dracula, The Wicked Witch of The West, Dr. Jekyll as Mr. Hyde, The Wolfman, The Mummy and other figures, are employed in the roles of various artists in a series of tableaux narratives which confront each character with stereotypical conditions of bohemian life in a rapidly gentrifying city. By drawing parallels between the nostalgia-ridden roles of the artist and that of the classic Hollywood movie monsters, McDonald lampoons the cultural functions they perform, as outsiders and shape-shifters, which embody and mirror society’s anxieties, fears and perversions.
“Many lead their lives in a state of constant dread of the disaster that may overtake them at any minute. This is a state of mind that creates a vast receptivity for misfortunes more poignant than our own.” (Nelson B. Bell on the appeal of horror films during the Great Depression. The Washington Post, 1932)
“For a big part of the post war generation, the prospect that the future was not going to resemble the past was frightening. The idea was so disturbing that it was better not to think about it directly. As always, scary entertainment would be happy to do the worrying, Dorian Gray-style, on every one’s behalf.” (David J. Skal on the continued obsession with horror during the 1960’s. “The Monster Show,” 1993)
“Formally, the works in BOHEMIAN MONSTERS can be seen as antithetical to the constructions of Joseph Cornell. Where Cornell’s intimate constructions create a limitlessly expanding imaginative space, McDonald’s works are hilariously literal- they are about painful limitations filtered through humor and playfulness, and specifically anti-utopian. They tell the stories of claustrophobic urban living space and the pressure of material survival and other circumstantially provoked and initiated depressions.” (Anke Kempkes)
Born in Los Angeles, Daniel McDonald moved to New York in 1989 to study at The Cooper Union. He was later a founding member of the collaborative Art Club 2000 (1992-2000) formed in cooperation with legendary gallerist Colin De Land and six other Cooper Union students. He was also the archivist and co-director of American Fine Arts, Co. (1993-2004) and since 1995, McDonald has became widely known for his conceptual and absurd costume jewelry line Mended Veil, which has been recently exhibited in The Crown Jewels at Salon 94 Freemans (New York, 2007) and The Happiness of Objects (Curated by Sarina Basta, Sculpture Center. Long Island City, 2007). McDonald’s drawings and sculptures have been included in recent group shows such as Eliminate at Albert Merola Gallery (curated by John Waters, Provincetown, MA, 2007), Sack of Bones at Asia Song Society (curated by Ellen Langan & Blair Taylor, New York, 2008), Horrorshow at TELIC Arts Exchange (curated by Joshua Callaghan, Los Angeles, 2007), F.A. Lores at Vilma Gold (Curated by Nils Norman and Stephan Dillemuth, London, 2007), The Name of This Show is Not GAY ART NOW at Paul Kasmin Gallery (curated by Jack Pierson, New York, 2006), and Between the Lines at Daniel Reich Gallery at the Hotel Chelsea (curated by Nick Mauss, New York, 2006).