Concurrent with the beginning of the primaries, the gallery walls will be transformed into a showcase for the 2016 presidential candidates, joined by an ailing but defiant figure from the past, the late Ronald Reagan. Like real life politics, this staged assembly is not a tame gathering of politicians exchanging flowery phrases or friendly handshakes. Mostly known for his provocative animatronic installations that move, talk and glow, Caine’s wonderfully surreal environments show no respect but clever humor and refreshing honesty.
The New York Times’ Holland Cotter has called his work “beyond irreverent” and “a grotesque take on an already grotesque take on American culture.” So be prepared.
Altered portraits of the contenders for the presidency cover the gallery walls; facial expressions provoke and guide the initial stroke of Caine’s drawing tool; what begins as an intuitive process, becomes more and more calculated and finds completion in “Chris Christie Neapolitan Ice Cream Man”, “Lobster Girl”, “Donald Trump’s Favorite Outdoor Sport”, “Can Elf be President”, “Cum Bucket” or “Beagle Boy.” In the artist’s own words: “Thanks Donald Trump for getting me to work flat again”. The center of the space is occupied by one of Peter Caine’s iconic kinetic sculptures, “Ronnie did a Boom Boom”, 2004. Wearing but a diaper and a bib, the robotic copy of Ronald Reagan sits high up on the back of his chair while eagerly lifting weights, trying to escape the realty of old age.
Let’s print that shit at Walmart:like it or not—you’ll be captivated