June 11 through July 24, 2021
By WM, July 2021
From the press release:
In celebration of playoff basketball’s return to New York City, my pet ram is pleased to present its hoops-influenced inaugural exhibition, Court Vision. Artistic practice meets athletic in this gallery that teams up artists whose works basketball underpins and informs. Court Vision invites viewers to reflect at the intersection of culture, fashion and race, in an homage to one of the world’s most cross-cultural sports.
Like the century-old game that inspired them, the works in Court Vision embody play and, at the same time, cultural complications. The various subjects also playfully nod to the rise of spectatorship, along with the commercialization of sport.
Tom Sanford’s work juxtaposes basketball icons and historical moments, telegraphing humorous and often unflattering depictions of modern American life, refracted through the lens of sport. Sanford’s Clyde Frazier winks at and invites viewers to consider the dream world of athletic glamour and success.
Jeremy John Kaplan's latest work, titled Zone Press, features five nets sourced from courts in New York City, Los Angeles, Philadelphia, Nogales, Mexico, and Cape Town, South Africa, all set into a 2-2-1 formation representing the “zone press” defensive scheme used in basketball. Inspiration for the work comes from The Gold Nets Project, the artist's interventive peaceful protest through which he has performed the volunteer action of restoring 500+ basketball nets across several cities internationally since launching the project in Philadelphia in 2005.
Celebrating Kobe by Jake Sheiner is an original painting taken from a highlight of a young number 8 as he celebrates atop the scorer’s table to a raucous Staples Center crowd. The title of the work takes on a double meaning, as it is both a painting of Kobe celebrating, and a work celebrating the life and legacy of Kobe Bean Bryant - a complicated idol reigning over a city of stars, who played for the artist's hometown Lakers through the most formative years.
Cheetosphere by Sam Keller is a sculpture modeled after a regulation sized basketball made using actual Cheetos which are meticulously attached together into a spherical shape. The artist began working with Cheetos and other food products in 2010. Using consumer products, food items, and found objects, Sam rethinks the purpose of ordinary objects in an attempt to mock power structures and expose the contradictions between object, artist, viewer, and commodity. The artist parodies the inescapability of capitalism in the everyday, transforming recognizable objects with preexisting cultural and commodified meanings as a way to call their “value” into question. By making them into sculptures, Sam toys with their longevity and transforms them into a post-modernist critique.
Artists featured in the exhibition include Dunk Comp, Robert Otto Epstein, Inga Guzyte, Honorroller, Jeremy John Kaplan, Sam Keller, Billy Kheel, Boy Kong, Todd Midler, Tom Sanford, Brett Skoonz, Jake Sheiner, and Bradley Ward.
Aptly taking place in New York City, the Mecca of Basketball, Court Vision will be on view through July 24th, 2021. The gallery is located at 48 Hester Street in New York, NY. WM