‘Lifelike’ exhibit re-imagines reality at Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego in La Jolla
Two ‘Lifelike’ curators, MCASD’s Jill Dawsey and Walker Art Center’s Siri Engberg
Click on the NEXT> button above to view all 9 photos from the “Lifelike” exhibit opening.
By Lonnie Burstein Hewitt
If you are a fan of pop art, photorealism, and all their concomitants, you won’t want to miss “Lifelike,” an engaging array of delightful, disturbing, meticulous re-creations of everyday things now on view at Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego in La Jolla.
The exhibit, organized by the Walker Art Center in Minneapolis and first shown there a year ago, includes close to 80 works by 50 artists from the 1960s to the present who play with distortions of size, materials, and contexts to transform often-overlooked objects into eye-opening works of art.
At the members’ opening Feb. 28, hundreds of guests interacted with the pieces, which ranged from the almost imperceptible (Tom Friedman’s tiny bee on the wall) to the super-sized (Chuck Close’s “Big Self Portrait,” right next to the bee) and included sculptures, videos, paintings, prints, and photos.
Things in “Lifelike” are seldom what they seem: What looks like a classic Jimi Hendrix record is a hyper-accurate painting; the well-worn sleeping bag on the floor is actually made of bronze; the turned-away portrait of a woman is a print of a photo of a painting of a photo of a model; even the four-screen “New York, New York, New York” video projections are faux-real replicas of city scenes, straight from Hollywood sets.
Siri Engberg, who curated the original exhibit at the Walker, was at the opening here. “What we were looking for in ‘Lifelike’ was something in between Pop Art and Photorealism, works that investigate what we call the quieter side of the quotidian,” she said. “And it’s a show the public can really enjoy.”
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