Quick: What has four eyes, two mouths, four ears, two noses and also two heads? No, it’s not the conjoined twins from the carnival as my date for Valentine’s Day. The answer is: tandem husband-wife artists, Theo A. Rosenblum & Chelsea Seltzer, had their opening last February 14, 2012 at The Hole in the Bowery. Kathy Grayson helms this expansive and exciting space in this part of New York. The collaboration from these two artists over the past year produced an assortment of playful yet disturbingly witty works.
The exhibition presents a fun house of finished large sculptures, to paintings with added elements on the frames, miniatures, assemblages and installations. Each piece pokes on puns, even below-the-belt punches, and all manner of hybrids to keep everyone observing closely in rapt fascination like being inside a cavernous well lit funhouse or freak show. At the back part of the gallery were sketches that started off as drafts for ideas but the realized pieces are further elaborated with more details. Both artists may start off with a stock image printed on canvas then individually they go back and forth adding in details till the end result is a tapestry of twisted, grotesque yet unforgettable scenes.
There is the cute three headed dog based on the mythical guardian hellhound of Hades, Cerberus, but this version is so adorable that you might want to pet the little guy. On one of the frames, picnic fare are attached with a picture of wild horses running in a romantic field and is that a leprechaun being trampled naked with his pot of gold flying about? Then you have a delicious swing doughnut complete with pink frosting and sprinkles. It makes you feel like a kid again but there is that perverse notion about an enormous doughnut, which can be linked to food fetishes. There are interesting details that one needs to take the time to dissect and digest.
Rosenblum & Seltzer creates a world where their handcrafted pieces manifest itself into a jumble of unsettling yet hilarious universe where you won’t mind getting lost in or get indigestion from all this junk food art. But isn’t that the point of going to carnivals or the circus that you indulge in so much junk food that it can make you sick. From time to time, your sensibilities need to be blown out of the water and an over stimulated jolt can refresh one’s otherwise blasé perception about the milquetoast mundane. Two heads or more are indeed better than one if you expect to see something otherworldly or disturbingly amusing.
Theo A. Rosenblum & Chelsea Seltzer: Two Heads are Better than One
Exhibition Date: February 14 – March 17, 2012
Gallery Hours: Tuesday – Saturday, 12 – 7 pm
The Hole. 312 Bowery. New York, NY 10012
article by: Oscar A. Laluyan