NEW YORK—Unless you know what to expect, the Jon Kessler exhibit at Salon 94‘s Bowery location is unexpected. You enter the gallery at street level and descend a narrow staircase to view “The Blue Period.” When you step into the exhibit space you are bombarded with an overwhelming scene: blue spattered paint, life-size cut-outs of everyday people, and surveillance monitors and cameras.
Something is spinning around in the back; Cameras pan and appear to follow as you move around. Everywhere there is something to see and try to figure out. It’s a challenge to focus and decipher what is going on.
What’s this all about? According to the gallery, Kessler is fascinated with “surveillance, alienation and spectacle.” The artist has created a gallery within a gallery, “a controlled environment in which social relations are mediated through images of a fabricated, inaccessible reality.”
A mixed-media sculptor, Kessler was born in Yonkers and lives and works in New York. “The Blue Period” debuted in Berlin in 2007 and is being shown for the first time in the United States.
The exhibit is on view from Feb. 2 to March 10, 2012.
All photos by Arts Observer