by Michael Rees
Clown Town opens for 1 month on October 21 2016 from 6:00p to 8:00pm at Bravin Lee Programs, 526 west 26th street, suite 211, New York, New York.
www.michaelrees.org contact firstname.lastname@example.org
When looking at Rees’s art many people are tempted to ask “what is this about?” In Rees’ case the answer is “Who wants to come up on stage and let me guess what’s in your pocket?”
Que the music! Send in the clowns! Every opinion has the same clown-nose shape form and weight and is equal to every other opinion no matter how scary or stupid. This is the farcical neighborhood in Michael Rees’ Clown Town. The exhibition includes big clown shoes, a shooting gallery that sculpts a sculpture, an inkwell monkey head with alternating sign that says “winner” then "loser", a man in a barrel suit, etcetera. Rees mines these ideas through a continuous thread of his elusive and ineffable Pynchonesque story telling
Clown Town showcases 12 new sculptures in marble, plastic, plaster, aluminum. Each work is supplemented with photographs embedded with augmented reality technology. This invites audience interaction through a smart phone or tablet app. This augmented reality aspect adds layers of experiences to the sculptures through image triggers. This exemplifies that while clowns often prompt uneasy laughter they are a manifestation of our need to test the limits of who we are through play and experiment.
Clown Town is a comedic picaresque mediated through a sculptural interface. Each sculpture contains a juxtaposition of form, imagery, and augmented reality that plumbs some aspect of internet foolishness and the construction of ego. The ludic tenor of the works in Clown Town points to anxious times and shifting definitions of the world around while a sense of fatalism in the face of political and economic forces suffuses each work. Rees juggles the clown motif as an increasingly fitting, effective and well-used symbol for our unbelievable times.
This inescapable clownish aura of Rees’s works is felt as variously exuberant, silly, incompetent, abject or grotesque. Clown Town looks into a sculptural condition stuck within a transformative trajectory that takes us from the existential to the artificial. Rees draws viewers through an ideational house of mirrors, deftly shuffling technologies, medias, images and characters while playing in this comedic game with one's sense of the real.