JOEL OTTERSON: Chandelier Queer
November 1 – December 21
Opening reception: Friday, November 1: 6-8 PM
Maloney Fine Art is pleased to present Chandelier Queer, Joel Otterson’s second solo exhibition at the gallery.
This exhibition will load the ceiling with three fetishized chandeliers made of hundreds of goblets from the 50s, 60s, and 70s that mimic the silhouette of a Baccarat chandelier, a strategy that opens art up to the world of everyday life. This installation of sculpture demonstrates that pop art remains vibrant as it continues to undermine authoritative definitions of what constitutes aesthetic value. The exhibition stages a handcrafted reimaging of the Susan Sontag’s pivotal 1964 essay, Notes on Camp.
Definition: A Homosexual with exquisite and/or expensive taste. An Elegant Fag. A self-spoiled fruit. Chandelier Queers (CQs) are not averse to sharing their exquisite luxuries with others, but they mainly indulge themselves. If you happen to know a CQ, you might accidentally share in some of his affluent tastes by proxy. –UrbanDictionary.com
For the past twenty-five years Otterson has combined the venerable with the banal, working his way through the “House”— creating mash-ups of architectural elements, furniture, appliances, utilitarian objects, interior decorations, entertainment centers, and even a toilet (while an artist in residence in the Arts/Industry Residency Program at Kohler Company, 1991-92)—utilizing everything that has been invented to make our world a better place. For him, making these objects is a way of reclaiming the industrialized object as his own. His sculpture is a bricolage of domestic handicraft with traditional sculptural materials, at times blurring the line between high and low culture, art and craft. Otterson employs a diverse array of materials such as copper pipe, concrete, and blown glass with techniques such as woodworking, pottery, and needlework. His work goes beyond traditional stereotypes as an amalgam of sculptural techniques often associated with the masculine, with craft traditions that often allude to “women’s work.” It has been aligned with feminist thinking, gender bending, “Queer Aesthetics,” and, ironically, an embrace of American traditions like family, Rock ‘n’ Roll, and baseball.
Joel Otterson has shown his work internationally at venues such at The Museum of Modern Art (PROJECT series, 1987), the Venice Biennale (1993), and the Hammer Museum (Made in L.A, 2012).
The artist lives and works in Los Angeles.
Joel Otterson, “Bottoms Up #2,” 2013,
187 vintage press glass and cut crystal goblets, steel, metal chain, copper wire, electrical parts, 84” X 28” diameter
Joel Otterson, “Bottoms Up #3,” 2013
75 vintage press glass and cut crystal goblets, steel, metal chain, copper wire, electrical parts, 48” X 20” diameter
Joel Otterson, “New Age Tiffany,” 2013
45 vintage press glass and cut crystal goblets, copper pipe, marble, metal chain, copper wire, glass beads, electrical parts,
40” X 18” X 18” (plus base: 34” X 19” X 16”)