C.O.L.A. 2010 Individual Artist Fellowships Exhibition
Barnsdall Park Los Angeles Municipal Art Gallery
Presented by the City of Los Angeles Department of Cultural Affairs
Fumiko Amano, Linda Arreola, Sean Duffy, Sam Erenberg, Mary Beth Heffernan, Jesse Lerner Brian Moss Michael Pierzynski, Rebecca Ripple, Tran T. Kim-Trang
May 20-July 18, 2010
Rocinante and the Mastodon are the products of a quixotic quest to participate in an amateur 24-hour race. After months of work, our team could not get our 1979 Mazda RX7 running properly in time for the race (in retrospect, we should have started with a running car). The remnants of the dismembered car became a body of work about a mid-life search for adventure--and its bittersweet end. The largest chunk was stripped down in the video “Windmill.” Four other pieces were turned into sculptures inspired by failure and mythology: “Rocinante,” “Steve McQueen,” “The Mastodon” and “The Passenger.” Each chunk contains a music box playing “Windmills of Your Mind.” The pedestals are bundles of scrap wood held together by automotive tie-down straps. In addition to Don Quixote and Steve McQueen, I thought about John Chamberlin and Dusty Springfield as I sought to evoke vulnerability from hunks of rusting steel.
Rocinante - 2010 - Mazda RX7, "Windmills of your Mind" music box, weathered redwood and tie downs - 52"x40"x21"
The Mastodon - 2010 - Mazda RX7, "Windmills of your Mind" music box, weathered redwood and tie downs - 82"x36"x32"
Steve McQueen - 2010 - Mazda RX7, "Windmills of your Mind" music box, weathered redwood and tie downs - 62"x20"x20"
Steve McQueen (detail)
The Passenger - 2010 - Mazda RX7, "Windmills of your Mind" music box, weathered redwood and tie downs - 60"x25"x25" - Jamul, CA
The Passenger (detail)
The Mastodon (pedestal variation) - Susanne Vielmetter Los Angeles Projects
Rocinante (pedestal variation) - Laguna Art Museum
The RX7's final breath
Throughout my life I’ve been obsessed with popular culture, and it inspires much of my work. With Group Show I attempt to transform my life and my work into popular culture, in the form of a fragment of a record store. The project presently consists of over 100 LP covers documenting my life through images of previous shows, family pictures, reviews, essays, unresolved ideas and other autobiographical information. I’ve taken this material and reinterpreted it as new work. In doing so, I’ve created a way for someone obsessed with popular culture to indulge in retrospection and self-reflection while engaging in a favorite activity (i.e. flipping through record bins).
Road Signs wound up in several group shows. Here's a description of the work from LA Times' Rhea Mahbubani review of Reverberation.
"Last year, he purchased 1,000 red, yellow and blue darts off eBay, which lay around his Santa Clarita house, to be fiddled with occasionally. One night, Duffy was joined by his wife and two sons, throwing darts at a wall for over an hour.
When some darts fell to the ground, it became a game to ensure that they all stuck to the surface. Eventually, he had to patch up the wall, he recalled with a guffaw, but the experience, which toed the line between destruction and creation, came together in the form of "Darts Red, Darts Yellow and Darts Blue," on display at the venue on Main Street."
International Playboy began as a used 1993 Geo Metro, which artist Sean Duffy has reduced to shell of its former self. Seen from a single vantage point (e.g. the entrance to the gallery) the car appears whole, but as the viewer moves into and around the exhibition space, the object is revealed as a mere façade braced from behind. A melancholy pop soundtrack provided by its stereo suggests both a narrative about a teenager’s love/hate relationship with a disappointing first car and a metaphor in which the dismantled Metro represents the fragile adolescent ego.
Sean Duffy - International Playboy - 2004
Body and Soul - 2002 - two Garrard 4hf turntables, wood, canvas formica, Monk's Dream Lp
Triple Turntable - 2001 - 3 Yamaha turntables, mixer, amplifier, speaker, stretcher bar and canvas - 40”x24”x24”
The Oracle - 2008 - three Victrola tonearms and horns, acrylic, brass weights, Teres turntable, Miles Davis 78
Spider and the Fly - 2006 - Marantz turntable, seven tonearms, 45s with cover versions of "Satisfaction" and "Spider and the Fly"
Bakersfield Smoker - 2003 - Turntable with 2 ton-arms, 2 Sansui amplifiers, 4 speakers, Griff Borgeson Hot Rod Heaven-Bakersfield Smokers Album - 40 in. x 40 in. x 40 in.
Waiting - 2003 - three turntables, plywood, amplifiers, hanging speakers and albums with people sitting on benches on the cover - installed at Art Basel Miami 2003
Waiting - 2003 - three turntables, plywood, amplifiers, hanging speakers and albums with people sitting on benches on the cover - installed at Johnson County Museum, Overland, Kansas
Untitled (triple turntable) - 2003 - three Marantz 6300 turntables, three Bose speaker boxes, mixer - 31" x 26" x 26"
Kraftwerk - 2005 - three 2055 Kenwood Turntables, mixer, speakers, Kraftwerk and early hip hop record albums - variable dimensions
Art 0f Love - 2004 - two turntable, vocal transformer, equalizer, speakers, wood, Art of Love Lp
The Touch - 2004 - three turntables, six powered speakers, lps with the work "touch" in their title
Jazz & Smoke- 2003- - Two Garard turntables, speakers, fiesta-ware “radioactive red” ashtray and four lps with Jazz musicians smoking on the cover (Erik Dolphy, Charles Earland, Billy Eckstine and Coleman Hawkins) - 33”x19”x8”
Goodbye Again - 2002 - two Marantz 6300 turntables, Lps with people crying on the cover, amplified speakers
Lonesome Hobo - 2003 - two turntables, two flight cases, wood, amplifier, speakers, albums about traveling
Lonesome Town - 2003 - two Marantz 6300 turntables, Ricky Nelson “Lonesome Town” 45 record - 14” x 17” x 5.5”
White Noise Machine - 2002 - four turntables, two mixers, two speakers, wood, tool dip paint, Beatles' White Album, Velvet Undergrounds' White Light White Heat and Nirvana's Bleach
Take 10 - 2002 - two Philip's turntables, Dave Brubeck's greatest hits Lp, enamel - 22"X16"x6"
California Dreamin' - 2002 - two Califone 1410ss record players, Mamas and the Papas Lp
Set Free - 2002 - turntable, acrylic paint, canvas, beer can, vinyl killer record player
Road Signs wound up in several group shows. Here's a description of the work from Rhea Mahbubani review of Reverberation.
"Duffy's other contributions to "Reverberation" include printed signs reading "I've seen more photographs of people than people" and "This piece is for you — Take it off the wall and carry it to your home. Don't talk to anyone. They won't talk to you." — an offer that some viewers have taken him up on.
"I don't want the audience spending their time wondering, 'What is that?'" he said. "I'd rather they spend their time thinking about how I've used the material. Thinking of the sign pieces, I could've just had road signs made, but that's a material that's readily ignored and looked too much like some form of official dogma. The pieces would be dead. By using paper and messy screen printing, it made the work expressive, so the final pieces kind of exist in a place between art and road signs."
At a time when people are inundated with information and images, Duffy mulled over artists' responsibilities.
"If creating illusions is the norm, then what's the role of an artist?" he asked. "In the past, artists took people to illusions, so, now, is it the role of the artist to take people to reality?""
I'm Listening - 2012 - acrylic paint, silkscreen on paper
This Piece is for You - 2012 - acrylic paint, silkscreen on paper
I've Seen More Photographs of People than People (brown on white) - 2013 - acrylic paint, silkscreen on paper - 32"x50"
I've Seen More Photographs of People than People (green on silver) - 2012 - acrylic paint, silkscreen on paper - 32"x50"