Art is not always trying to be pleasing to the viewer. At times, exhibitions will be put together in order to make you feel uncomfortable. The gallery of Jeffrey Deitch has made it their goal to create unease in the viewer. Their most recent exhibition called People is displaying the humanity in figures through thirty-three sculptures created by twenty-nine different, talented contemporary artists.
The gallery welcomes you with Matelli’s Sleepwalker, which is a sculpture of a woman topless in panties sleepwalking at the front of the exhibit. This is the second work in this series of sculptures from Matelli. His first was a sculpture of a middle-aged man in his underwear which was removed from a college campus for being unpleasant and making people uncomfortable. The same feeling is evoked in viewers when overwhelmed with the sleepwalking woman in such a vulnerable position.
Nick Cave’s piece titled Soundsuits which appears to be a sculpture of a human figure covered from the knees up in unusual objects. Duane Hanson contributes Cheerleader to the exhibit, which is a sculpture of a woman who looks like she is straight out of the movie Grease. Slouched on her back leg, she eludes a sense of disappointment and anger in her facial expression which directly conflicts with what her attire as a cheerleader represents.
The exhibit People was inspired by a show called The Uncanny which was based on an essay written by the philosopher and psychology of Sigmund Freud. The exhibition focused on the anxiety that occurs when facing human-like objects as they become mirrors for ourselves.
The Jeffrey Deitch gallery exhibit People follows one of the most popular exhibits in the past year called Like Life curated by Met Breuer. Like Life was a commentary on human form over the course of art history and his sculptures are eery and fun.