Faux Real Exhibition

In this summer’s main-level exhibition, Laguna Art Museum presents a collection of works by contemporary artists who mimic reality with a playful twist, in the process raising questions of authenticity and duplication. Often using off-beat materials, and showing a sly sense of humor, they take as their subject-matter items that anyone might pass over without a second thought, such as food, furniture, or domestic knick-knacks. By turning the ordinary into art, they get us to think about how things are made, what they are made from, and how we see them in our everyday experience.
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Many of the works in Faux Real are about the pleasures of trompe l’oeil, the creation of an eye-deceiving illusion—the delicate ceramic works of Richard Shaw, for instance, or the sculptures of Matthias Merkel Hess and Lauren DiCioccio. Each artist, in his or her own way, offers a rich, textured challenge to us to question our visual surroundings. Kim MacConnel’s reconstruction of a living room extends the tradition of the interior genre painting, allowing us to move into the space.
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While generally humorous in tone, the exhibition also includes works that, at some level, offer a critique of American culture and consumerism. The clay food sculptures of Julie Bozzi ask us to consider “American types” of food, presenting what could be Cold War-era, Sunset magazine images as a cabinet of curiosities.
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In addition to those mentioned above, the exhibition includes the following participating artists: Michael Arcega, Sandow Birk, Libby Black, Amy Caterina, Daniel Douke, Ala Ebtekar, Cheryl Ekstrom, David Gilhooly, Jean Lowe, Gifford Myers, Kaz Oshiro, Elyse Pignolet, Walter Robinson, and Stephanie Syjuco.
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On display on the museum’s upper level, the installation Sea Change: Tanya Aguiñiga’s Bluebelt Forest plays with transformations in a way that perfectly complements the Faux Real theme.

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