LAST TWO WEEKS TO SEE:
An Installation by Guy Overfelt
Curated by Tony Labat
Watch the installation live at
Press from the SF Chronicle
Published in SF Chronicle, 96 hours, April 2011
Bubbling: Bearded hipsters and art aficionados lined the walls at last Thursday’s opening of Guy Overfelt’s “Ever Wash” show at Ever Gold Gallery (through April 28). The artist has transformed the jewelry store-turned-gallery into a sparse, faux Laundromat. For Overfelt, the installation was triggered by post-Great Recession musings on America’s economic divides. “In movies and books, Laundromats are often intimate, romantic places. The stereotypical scene usually involves a couple meeting because their underwear has been mixed up, and a sudden discovery that they are both reading Proust,” he says. “I do find them intriguing as meeting points, as theatrical spaces that prompt dialog and meditation on one’s life as your socks fly through the dryer.” Also up for pondering: back-room pieces like “This Is Not a Pipe” – a clever take on both René Magritte’s surrealist work and your average beer bong – and “I Rock,” strategically modified Rolling Rock neon signage.
Opening Reception: Thursday April 7th, 6-9pm
Closing Reception: Thursday April 28th.
Gallery Open Wednesday- Saturday 1-6pm
Ever Gold is pleased to announce the solo show EVER WASH featuring Guy Overfelt, curated by Tony Labat.
EVER WASH is an exhibition hosted in a now defunct jewelry store (Ever Gold) located at the street level of a single room occupancy rental hotel building on the edge of the Tenderloin and Union Square. The exhibition space is presented as a minimalist laundromat with a functional washer and dryer available for free use to anyone who visits and the gallerists act as attendants providing the appropriate amount of white powder laundry soap.
A live broadcast on justin.tv/guyoverfelt will allow the casual viewer the opportunity to check out the action remotely during gallery hours; Wed – Sat, 1-6 pm PST
Overfelt’s EVER WASH references romanticized aspects of poverty and economic disparity that appear in pop culture like Don Henly’s ‘Dirty Laundry’ as well as canonized works of art like Degas’ ‘Laundry Woman With Toothache.’
“In 1998 Guy Overfelt asked me to shoot him with a taser. Two tasers came out of the gun, one landing exactly at the tip of his nose. Guy collapses to the floor, wriggling in pain, or just from the shock of the sudden impact and electrical charge. At the end of the video document of the action/performance, there’s a smile on my face. I am still trying to reconcile with that image of sadistic pleasure and mischievousness, but it speaks volumes about not only the relationship Guy and I have developed over the years, but about his work as well.
Since the 90s, Guy Overfelt has produced a provocative body of work that includes a high percentage of actions, installations and street performances that refuse to accept a passive audience. He invites and instigates situations primed for activation in order to become a spectator himself. (And I’m sure a similar “smile” comes when watching/observing the results of his actions.) When curating this show at Ever Gold, I was hoping that Guy would design one of such works from his repertoire. He came through again.
Turning the gallery space into a free laundromat, with attention to minute details of camouflage, the site/space is addressed from inside out: from a mirrored tabletop, dropped lighting fixtures and a live feed recording the interactions, to the slight of hand in changing the legacy store front sign from Ever Gold to Ever Wash. Guy has created and designed a work that poignantly makes us look for the signs that have always been there, but we resist to acknowledge. With all its references, it points to the implications of the politics of the urban, and this landscape is revealed, twisted and inverted.”
Tony Labat is Chair and associate professor in the New Genres department at the San Francisco Art Institute. He received his MFA from SFAI in 1980. He has been producing thought-provoking work in various media for more than two decades. Dedicated to working in multiple disciplines with each project, his art often combines elements of installation, sculpture, performance and video. Labat’s immigration to the United States from Cuba at age 15 has had a profound influence on the many evolutions of his work. Having exhibited at prestigious galleries and museums around the world, Labat’s work resides in a number of prominent collections and has received several awards and grants, among them two from the National Endowment for the Arts.
Guy Overfelt’s work has been exhibited internationally in galleries and museums including the Oakland Museum of California; Guangzhou Triennial, China; St. Mary’s University, Halifax, Canada; The Havana Biennial, Cuba; Ronald Feldman Fine Arts, New York; Jack Hanley Gallery, San Francisco, and White Columns, New York City. His work has been acquired by the Berkeley Museum Collection and the JPMorgan Chase Collection, as well as private collections. His work has been reviewed and featured in numerous publications, including the New Yorker, The New York Times, Art Net, Art Papers, Index Magazine, Paper Magazine, Time Out, Kobe Japan, Time Out, New York, Boing Boing, SF Guardian, Surface Magazine, and the San Francisco Chronicle, as well as other publications and catalogs. His work was featured in the documentary film ‘Burning Rubber’ which recently aired on Bravo. He received his BFA from Maryland Institute College of Art in 1994 and an MFA from San Francisco Art Institute in 1996. He lives and works in San Francisco and Bolinas, California.
All press inquiries:
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