86 Delancy Street
New York, NY 10002
ROX Gallery is presenting “ROCK|THEM”, a group exhibition that holds a mirror up to life in America by examining the weight we give to material items, how we use luxury as a weapon and beauty as a tool. Here, “ROCK” represents any material item that we use to make ourselves stand out, “THEM” being the receivers of our projected self image, those we strive to impress. The exhibition is a reaction to the global manufactured marketing of luxury goods, elitism and our cultural obsession to obtain things and gain status. We put ourselves through an endless grind to afford the bling and arm ourselves with weapons of fashion. We hunt and want to be hunted. The desire for “rocks” is in our cultural DNA. “ROCK|THEM” asks the questions: How do we view ourselves in relation to others? Is the drive to succeed a blessing or a curse? Will we do anything in pursuit of status?
“ROCK|THEM” explores trends as they simultaneously wear us down and lift us up. Jordan Doner’s exploding luxury purse artworks will be exhibited as photographic prints displayed alongside actual debris from the purse explosions. Andrea Mary Marshall’s demon paintings and altered fashion magazine covers highlight the lifeless state that possesses “toxic women” when luxury goods become their God. Bijoux Altamirano’s animated GIFs play on video girls and voyeurism, highlighting our cultural obsession with fame and reality TV. Dee & Ricky’s crowbar wrapped in classic Louis Vuitton printed leather shows us literally how we use fashion as a weapon. Jay West’s painting “Beautiful Distraction” displays our desire for fast cars in a pop culture montage. Bogdan Stroe’s massive acrylic mirrored portrait of Kanye West in front of an egyptian pharaoh tomb titled “Resurrection” represents how celebrities uses fashion and art to recreate their image and maintain status. Jules Kim creates conceptual wearable art and her featured ROCKS jewelry line is created from molds of found New York City rocks.
Why do material items give us a sense of security in our lives? Perhaps what we really want from the rocks we have or wish we could have is what they possess in their most natural untapped state: stability, peace and tranquility. In “ROCK|THEM”, the anthem song written for the exhibit by curator Laura O’Reilly, the lyrics double as a curatorial statement and ask the questions:
“What happens when fake becomes the new real? What do you use to fill the hole instead of feel? Food, fashion, sex, drugs and rock and roll- or do trap lords reign supreme–are you in the know? Is it all about the right accessories? Can we keep up? Is the grind godly, or just too much?”
In “ROCK |THEM” we get to take a step back and look at the insanity we endure for the sake of our bling and question where we learned these desires in the first place