Matthew Palladino, the San Francisco-based artist who has seen much success over the past few years, just opened a new body of work, Sweet Relief, at Eli Ridgway Gallery in SF this past weekend. Normally creating work in a unique, flat aesthetic, Pallandino's new work features enamel coated plaster casts made from commercial chocolate molds.
As Ridgway notes: Both pre-fabricated and meticulously hand-made, Palladino repurposes these molds to produce sculptural reliefs that make visual reference to his paintings but extend literally into three dimensions. His deadpan reproduction of banal objects made twice functionless, removed by two degrees of separation from their original state as "familiar things," highlights Palladino's brand of dark humor that is an undercurrent of all his work. Because the molds themselves are made specifically for chocolate making (for making objects to be eaten), the resulting casts also function as a playful critique of the tenuous relationship between the artist as producer and the viewer or collector as consumer. Drawing upon the interplay between high and low-brow cultural production, "Sweet Relief" explores the histories of the ready-made and the hand-made, the naive and the sophisticated, painting and sculpture, and the infinite potential in between.
Through March 10, 2012
Eli Ridgway Gallery
San Francisco, California