plutocrats and proletariats

Posted: April 25, 2016 in galleries
Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

An art installation ‘Nest Egg’ by Brendan McNaughton
at the Corkin Gallery, Distillery District

The title of this blog post is taken from a description of McNaughton’s work on the Corkin gallery website, “The relationship between plutocrats and proletariats is central to his art practice.”  A plutocrat is a person who is powerful because they are wealthy.  Money equals power.  Proletariat on the other hand is a class of people, the working class, a class without money and without power.

below: A gold axe.  With its blade in a column, on a pedestal?  That’s not a passive positioning of the axe, i.e. it’s not just lying around.  Someone has swung it.
Axe as a symbol of the working class?  Juxtapositioned with gold, a symbol of money?

picture taken inside an art gallery - a tree trunk stands in the middle of a gold toned mirror, in the background, a gold plated (or gold colured) axe with its blade in the top of a white rectanguar column

below: A couple of the pieces were mirrors. But they were mirrors with a difference – slightly concave in shape, with a hint of gold, and marred by ragged shaped holes.  The resulting reflections are distorted and flawed.

an artwork by Brendan McNaughton of a slightly concave mirror but with a few torn holes in it. A bench is reflected in the mirror but because the mirror isnt't flat, the bench is distorted.

below: ‘Blue Chip’ a sculpture by Brendan McNaughton as viewed through one of his mirrors.  The expression ‘blue chip’ has become synonymous with high quality stocks, usually ones from the New York Stock Exchange.   Originally the expression meant stocks with higher prices because, if the story is correct, blue chips in poker are traditionally associated with the highest value.

Blue Chip, a sculpture by Brendan McNaughton, as viewed through an oval shaped mirror which is actually another art piece by the same artist.

below: The colour gold is very prevalent in this installation as are reflective surfaces.

picture taken inside an art gallery - a tree trunk stands in the middle of a gold toned mirror, also a mirror is on the top of each trunk, in the background are four panels of wrinkled gold

below: Parts of three wrinkly gold panels. There are actually four of these reflective square panels.  They are all the same size and colour but the surface patterns are slightly different.  Once again, the reflections are distorted.  Wealth distorts your view?

three square panels of reflective gold, wrinkled, material with reflections of people in them.

below: There was a group of what appeared to be photography students visiting the gallery at the same time that I was there. As I was standing beside this piece, looking for different and/or interesting angles and reflections, one of the students remarked on how he liked it when ordinary items were used in out of the ordinary ways. He then said that he wondered if it was …. and then he paused. I finished his sentence with the word ‘art’. He laughed and said yes, but that he was always afraid to say such things out loud. I gave him permission to ask “is it art?” as loud and as often as he wanted.

picture taken inside an art gallery - a tree trunk stands in the middle of a gold toned mirror,

picture taken inside an art gallery - a tree trunk stands in the middle of a gold toned mirror,

Installation ends May 1st

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