I finally had the chance to check out the Charles LeDray exhibit at the Whitney. I had been wanting to see it since I first heard about it (and tweeted about it). I will admit, the skeptic in me wasn't sure I'd like it. Generally speaking... I love miniature things. They make me feel like a giant which almost never happens. But I was still worried. Would it go completely over my head? Would I feel like I was looking at a mish-mosh collection of doll's clothing and dollhouse furniture? In the end, I loved it. It was such a cool exhibit and, unfortunately, the images below do not do it justice.
Part of the appeal is that he uses recognizable things and adds a twist. A simple men's jacket, shirt, and tie, painstakingly handcrafted (LeDray sews everything himself), and then deconstructed into work of art. I also loved how at first glance they seem fairly straightforward, but upon closer examination there were all these tiny little details that add a touch of humor (albeit a slightly dark humor) to each work.
This work particularly struck me. We live in a world where we put so much pressure on our clothing. What you wear is often who you are perceived to be. LeDray takes those articles of "somebody-ness" and strips them of their somebodies. I find it hauntingly beautiful how these empty shirts all cling to each other.
When he's not sewing small articles of clothing, LeDray carves objects out of bones. Sometimes human bones (not pictured). That gives me the shivers... but at the same time, I think it's awesome. I wouldn't be against donating my bones to art. Is there a way to add that thought to the organ donor symbol on my license?
This is a party bed (because it's covered in coats. Who started that trend anyway? The coat closet isn't big enough... just throw it on the bed.. question mark?) but it looks like my bed right now. I would take a picture but I am too embarrassed. Another time.
Normally I am not super impressed with Boston Globe articles (sorrrry, Boston).... but if you want to read a comprehensive and insightful write-up of this exhibition (from when it was at the ICA Boston), check it out here.