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Art Adventures: Back to the Future with Daniel Arsham

By Alexander Mason Hankin  | October 22, 2018 | Lifestyle

Daniel Arsham has emerged as a leader of nostalgic pop culture art. Instead of simply peppering in vintage pop-culture references, Arsham puts his own spin on iconic items from our past.


In his latest exhibition, Arsham 3018, Arsham has created a large amount of new sculptural work. On the ground floor sit two iconic cars that he has recreated: a 1961 Ferrari 250GT California from the 1986 John Hughes classic, Ferris Bueller’s Day Off, and the 1981 Delorean from Back to the Future. The cars are made from casts of volcanic ash, crystal, selenite, and quartz. While mammoth in weight and size, these relics are not immobile statues and function just enough to afford movement in and out of the gallery space.

Arsham notes, “depending on how you look at it, the crystals could either be decaying or [look like something is] growing. It’s all in what the viewer’s perception is, and it’s a beautiful thing.”


Within this exhibit Arsham also presents various wrapped and bound sculptures of some of our favorite childhood cartoon characters. While these cartoon characters appear as if they are hidden under ropes and fabric, these too are casts made of hydrostone and crystal. Arsham notes that many of the characters are intended to resemble popular children's cartoon icons such as Bugs Bunny, Winnie the Pooh, and Kermit the Frog.

Craftily avoiding trademark infringement, there is way to know just which fossilized characters lie beneath the hardened drapery. Hanging above all these cartoon prisoners is a plaster and foam sculpture that reads FUTURE. This ominous sculpture asks viewers to contemplate what artifacts will actually be remembered in 3018.


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