“Order is repetition of units. Chaos is multiplicity without rhythm.” – Maurits Cornelius (M.C.) Escher
America. Land of Commerce and Consumption. This land is indeed meant for you and me. Last January 31st at Cristin Tierney gallery that this idea of America came to be the central theme of the latest works by Mark Dean Veca.Made for You and Me featured paintings with capitalist iconography, symbolic brands, and the ever enterprising American spirit is the order but smoldering in chaos.
The paintings are strong in the primary colors of blue, red and yellow but the graphic swirl of pattern in black and white outlines reminiscent of M.C. Escher – the master of geometric illusion with his surreal prints – proved to be a telling commentary of our culture in languorous decline. Familiar icons such as Rich Uncle Pennybags better known as Mr. Monopoly, Charlie the Tuna, Mr. Reddy Kilowatt, and the Pegasus of Mobil Gas were prominently featured but you look inside the lines where you’ll find a chaotic pattern of intestine like forms that somewhat transforms these amiable logos into sinister appropriated figures. Would this be the embodiment of Sinister Pop? It is very American to think big and make a fortune. The idea of consumption is in direct proportion to the growth of a corporation. This growth feeds on exhausting resources and damaging the world we live in the long run. Veca is a fan of M.C. Escher and this surrealist sinister tone infused in his recent works suggest that the supposedly ordered world of American Capitalist Economy is inadvertently chaotic to our culture. Each symbol is a token of our dependency and complacent acceptance of what it sells. Mr. Monopoly can be our obsession with getting rich and in wanton spending create a crisis like the Fiscal Cliff early this year. Mr. Reddy is our dependency on electricity and it has never been proven more until Hurricane Sandy last year when all stood still when the power went out for weeks. The Mobil Pegasus embodies the oil fuel consumption where prices fluctuates as the volatile Middle East and rising anxiety at the gas pump to keep this country moving. In each image that it is presented to be part of our American psyche where the capitalist structure is very American. Veca illustrates the underlying world of dissonance and instability that wriggles within that structure.
For better or for worse, this land of free(?) commerce is ours. We made it and we have a responsibility here – to fix and make it better for you and me.
Mark Dean Veca: Made for You and Me: On View: January 31 – March 9, 2013
Gallery Hours: Tuesday to Saturday (10 am – 6 pm) and by appointment
Cristin Tierney. 546 West 29th Street. NYC, NY 10001
art review by: Oscar A. Laluyan
art images from Cristin Tierney courtesy of the artist
event photography by: Max Noy