As I left the building last Friday to check out a few art shows opening in Greenpoint, a bread crumb trail of postcards with what looked like a giant cracked open pink Sno Ball sculpture led the way to Dose Projects were I had a chat with “California artist living in Cleveland,” Lauren Davies, whose mixed media sculptures are inspired by odd DIY roadside museums where you can buy rocks from outer space.
The show was titled, “The Comfort of Rocks.”
The artist went to school in a natural history museum, and it has been the theme of her work to artistically recreate these fabrications that are themselves attempts to recreate a natural world experience, like those dioramas of wooly mammoths. Lauren energetically described her work as “making pretense out of pretense,” or faking – faking it.
In general, making rocks (especially fake rocks) is a cool kind of art. (What kind of art do you make? I make rocks.) I love it when you go to pick up something that looks really heavy (like a fake rock) and it turns out to be as light as a feather.
A few of the pieces that stood on their own (without the artist’s backstory) were precious looking – neon colored rock abstractions jutting out of the wall or bubble gum volcanic rocks, in which the artist nailed the lava like texture. They gave off the impression that they shouldn’t be touched and as such were not created by human touch – but were found and of a another time or world. They did a good job at faking it.
Other pieces more closely resembled the oddball make-believe geodes at rock museums described by the artist – and achieved faking – faking it better. The crafty materials used in their fabrication demystified them. Even though these pieces were the ones that made the point strongly, seeing the artists hand in the work left me wishing to imagine their origin as other than the artist’s own creations.