Model Car Round-Up

Curated by Michael Eppelheimer, Michael Golec, and Scott Zukowski

Artists: Sarah Bader, Andrew Blauvelt, Anne Bush, William Canada, James Cathcart, Charles Cohan, Jno Cook, Peter Davidson, Frantuzzi, Edward Fella, Jesse Goode, Ken Gray, Robert Huff, David Lefkowitz, Tom McDonald, Mizicko, Murphy, Lisa Norton, Daniel Olson, Prater, Michael Slattery, Stanforth, and Lutz Wahler

The model car can refer to many things. Within the context of the exhibition Model Car Round-Up, curated by Michael Golec, Scott Zukowski, and Michael Eppelheimer, the model car is not only a common point of origin but also, and more importantly, a somewhat neutral subject matter. While larger issues such as those pertaining to gender or the environment are evoked, the model car's insignificance and escapist connotations in relation to art and the world at large makes it an attractive subject.

After nearly a decade of issue-oriented art, or art that illustrates the ideas of current theoretical prophets, a non-redeeming or marginal subject matter proved refreshing. With the onset of a new political administration, it was evident that an urge for social and political change had reached the mainstream. Perhaps this shift signaled a break from art that evenly seeks acceptance and credibility through political correctness, mastery of theory and materials, shock value, and ease of consumption.

The model car can also be seen as a metaphor for the simple act of making. What compels someone to make a scale model of his or her own car with Shrinky·Dinks? Why build a remote control vehicle that drills holes, or why bury a van in cement only to peel it out? Like products of any hobby activity, many of the works included in the exhibition convey little outward concern and therefore become conduits for self-gratification. Also evident in some pieces is the lack of polish or professionalism. This deliberate naïveté might indicate a distaste for acceptance or at least an affection for the untrained or unprofessional.

It is the sentiment of escape mentioned in the opening passage that interested the curators. Not a reactionary, extreme disregard for responsibility, but a sincere (probably too romantic) search for and exploration of some other criteria, subject matter, or vision. There is no guarantee that the artists or their works accomplished this; rather, it was the spirit of these individuals and the direction they faced that was inspiring.