There are many ways to keep Granny and Grandpa's memory alive. Some people arrange meticulous albums filled with yellowing and faded photographs. Some folks have their grandparents' cremated remains put in an urn and display them on the mantelpiece. Other people, like artist David Baskin, get their grandpa's hat, coat, necktie, belt, polo shirt, trousers, slippers, and even his pipe and cast them in pink urethane rubber. On a low white table at North Miami's Ingalls & Associates gallery deliberately sit the aforementioned items in, yes, pink rubber, which can alternately look like bubblegum or the pickled ginger placed on the side of a sushi plate.
Loaded with memory and history, the rubber wardrobe seems to almost breathe, as if its owner is about to saunter in momentarily to throw on his hat or grab his pipe. But it's clothing meant to be looked at, not worn. And it's all part of "Traces: An Installation by David Baskin," a show examining the resonance of everyday objects, especially those dealt with in the domestic realm, and what happens when those items are placed in a different context, specifically that of artwork. Hence the deconstructed easy chair's seat, back, and arms cast in bright red rubber and hanging on a wall. Or the orange credenza, sliced into four parts and flattened into a picture.
Do you sit on the pieces of furniture? Stroke the garments lovingly and gaze at them reverently? Or just take the whole colorful lot home and carefully arrange them above your couch? Those might be a few of the questions that Baskin is attempting to address. And that you may be able to answer.
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