Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Mike Bouchet and Paul McCarthy at Marlborough Monaco

Mike Bouchet and Paul McCarthy @ Marlborough Gallery Monaco

The Battleship Bilbao Billboard project was refreshing, a simple attack at the level of image/brand shaking the behemoth that the endless arrows of well-scripted criticism, aiming at Guggenheim’s museum as franchise model, couldn’t. Brand image was where the reality lay. But in the exhibitions since it seems its a collaboration 25 years in the making to go back to making work in the coincidence-valorized-as-auratic-material art making narratives of Jason Rhoades, McCarthy’s student and Bouchet contemporary. Rhoades who in his own time couldn’t get McCarthy himself off his back as a reference. Influence comes full circle in just not enough time to forget totally, and the funny-fresh irreverence of Rhodes symbolist networks lives in McCarthy/Bouchet’s titillation of their own brand strategies; Ivory Snow becoming Bilboa sunscreen and Battleship films - even with its own a-hole prepackaged. Though for now not nearly wildly inventive or all encompassing as Rhoades magisterial ability to tie it all together as if it somehow made sense, and not just a bunch of art scrap in a room.