In Sleep Never Rusts, JPW3 inverts the tried-and-true Rust-Oleum slogan into a conundrum of meaning and materials, with each successive gallery containing divergent bodies of work eliciting contrasting states of mind and sensory reactions. Paintings of infinity-loop buckets full of holes that render them impractical simultaneously revolve endlessly into boundlessness, spinning and rotating around the first space encountered while showing all of their sides but revealing nothing. The metaphor is the artistic process of working through accident and error to find solutions, or conversely, discovering problems in everything, and making art out of that Sisyphean predicament. Rounding a corner, a handmade analog hologram summoning Serena Williams’ power in mid-stroke is seen from both sides, doubled. The participant passes “through” her, momentarily becoming one with the celebrated tennis pro, part of the/her machine. Endless inanimate movement in paint leads to repetition of human motion, very much alive, a surge from one condition to its opposite. Following a course into the South Galleries, viewers encounter supine sarcophagus-like ramp “wedge” sculptures made of layers of melted wax, slowly molting, inert, sepulchral, detaining time and bringing locomotion close to a standstill. Then one enters the last room, a dizzying floor-to-ceiling black and orange wraparound “finish line” that is a zine (the earliest and a continuing materialization of JPW3’s output) writ large on the walls, composed of 8.5×11″ tartan photocopies of a homemade plastic trash bag with a checkered flag motif, conflating the sign of finishing and victory with its mundane source, “ending” but also rotating the observer back out into this undeniably multi-disciplinary, playfully confounding experience. The combined parts constitute a trip into perceptual and mental landscapes that are inventive, humorous, and allusive, as well as slightly disquieting and destabilizing.
Didactic & Map
Images by Maya Heilman-Hall