"Since I'm already the greatest artist in the Universe, we don't really have to go through the hassle of recording an album. It seems like a lot of f***ing work," states a list of ideas on William Powhida's Rock Wall, a painted mock message board full of notes related to a fictitious band. Powhida's satirical take on the life of a rocker wasn't the first artwork in Marx & Zavattero's I Want You To Want Me exhibit to fondly remind me of The Rocker.
Gold chains, fat laces, and glitter make cameo appearances in the music and fashion-inspired group show featuring artists with rock star status such as Marcel Dzama, Kehinde Wiley, David Hevel, and Libby Black. Black has a talent for making knock-off luxury goods out of paper and hot glue, and her Louis Vuitton amp and Gucci mic stand wrapped up the show's theme like a high-fashion, rock 'n' roll ribbon. The title of the sculpture is a nod to a Broken Social Scene lyric from their song, "Anthems For a 17-Year-Old Girl."
Similar to Hevel's 2006 exhibit at the gallery, the opening for I Want You To Want Me was no stuffy affair. Five-hundred people showed up and '80s dance troupe Tekniq performed, leaving behind cards signed with their stage names, e.g. Sha Bang-Bang and Hunny B. The exhibit is decidedly cross-genre. Along with twenty drawings by Marcel Dzama, you can pick up a record by his band, Albatross Note. Taravat Talepasand spoofed Raymond Pettibon's Sonic Youth Goo LP cover with the revised band name, Islam Youth, and David Hevel paid tribute to Gwen Stefani with a hideously glamorous sculpture incorporating a taxidermy lion mouth stuffed with jewels and fur.
James Gobel crafted an intricate felt portrait of a bearded lead singer wearing a Lisa Lisa and the Cult Jam t-shirt, while Tim Bavington assigned colors to musical notes and made striped paintings of specific songs. Collaborators Case Simmons and Andrew Burke's large digital photo-collage critiquing American culture and over-consumption was supplemented by wireless headphones playing a chaotic soundtrack for the visual, a giant compilation of commodities: bears, boats, celebrities, roller coasters, googly-eyed dogs, and so on. Simmons makes the art and Burke makes the audio, both glean material from the Interweb. Viewing it as a game, you could spend hours trying to match sounds with pictures in their interactive piece titled You Can Live Forever in Paradise on Earth.
The gallery represents several of the artists in the exhibit, which might be considered a greatest hits mix of Heather Marx and Steve Zavattero's tastes in art. They obviously know how to rock. Get in the mood for the show by loading your iPod with the aforementioned bands. It's time to jam.
I Want You to Want Me is on view through May 16, 2009.