Don’t miss the Penn MFA Show at Addams Gallery, on view until September 27
Charles Addams Gallery - 200 S. 36th St.
“I Don’t Question The Things You Do Anymore,” is a show that enthusiastically demands nothing but questions, asking audiences to creatively interpret the provocative messages it presents.
Created by second year MFA students, these works surpass mere diversity in medium, redefining it entirely. Upon walking into the gallery, viewers are confronted by a massive three–dimensional display of photographs of shoes and hair, accompanied by stacks of boxes overflowing with artificial fingernails glued to spray–painted peanuts. Tara White’s “The Black Hole of Sales” couples bright photographs saturated with neon colors with the disturbing concept of disembodied fingernails.
The idea of an intense and deliberately uncomfortable experience is not unique to this premiere piece, however. Avoiding the haphazard irony often associated with religious and socially critical art, Orlando de la Garza captured the attention of the majority of the gallery’s foot traffic with “Mexican Kids Nowadays” and “Beautiful Jesus.” Inspiration for De la Garza’s works can be traced back to his family’s proximity to the drug violence of northern Mexico, and the often ugly side effects of Mexican assimilation into American culture.
Notable for their political sass and accessibility, many pieces use short film and interactive elements to solidify their significance in an approachable way. In other words, don’t be afraid to pick up the random headphones because they are not a puzzling part of the artwork itself, but rather for viewers to hear what the artist has to say about his or her own piece.
All in all, the MFA show is worth the short walk to Addams Gallery, offering viewers a window into the newest generation of contemporary art.