Jay Kaplan refers to his work as humorous and irreverent with appealing aesthetics, simple detail, and a very calibrated craftsmanship. He has been described as a generational representative. Kaplan has worked with Jeff Koons, Paul McCarthy, Barbara Kruger and as a set designer for Stefan Beckman. We will be showing an installation of work from his Cluster Fuck series at the upcoming PULSE fair. These vinyl, enamel, and resin oversized "buttons" are meant to be curated into groupings much like is done with the items they mimic.
The button has had a pretty steady and varied life through many groups and trends over the years. Punks, politicians, and kooky 80's receptionists have employed them as a method to share beliefs, bands, that they love their cat, or simply that you should fuck off. Smiley face, Black Flag, Snoopy for President—Kaplan highlights the myriad of ways that the button has been woven into the fabric of American life.
Like the real thing Kaplan's are funny, pop-y, and witty; but they can also be crude, insulting, and low brow. It makes for an odd reflection into what we choose to represent of ourselves and beliefs to others. What makes the project fascinating to me is looking at the myriad of ways we subtly manipulate others into thinking about us. Humor, irony, and self-deprecation are used to protect and guide others thinking. In each grouping you create a new identity and new story, all of which are nothing but a controlled facade. It is interesting to see who picks what and how many variations can be created by simply changing out and replacing some of the pieces. Take a look on Kaplan's site and pick out which ones you chose.
The first one I chose was, "I'm not real smart, but I can lift heavy things." That says a lot about me.
To inquire about the artist or artwork shoot us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org.