STONE SOAP GLORY
JULY 25 – SEPTEMBER 12, 2019
OPENING: THURSDAY, JULY 25, 6–8PM
Mister Fahrenheit is very pleased to announce its inaugural project, stone soap glory, a solo exhibition by Brazilian-born artist Daniel Boccato. Opening on July 25th, this project brings together two new groups of work by Boccato, both presented for the first time in New York.
Faces – specifically the process of facial perception – have shaped much of Daniel Boccato’s work over the past five years. Registering facial features from often subtle cues found in his surrounding environment, the artist has made a practice of diligently documenting and cataloging his findings, amassing a collection of thousands of pictures, scans, and catalog pages. In 2015, Boccato began using these images as source material for his faceworks, a series of wall-mounted, monochromatic sculptures of cartoon-like expressions, made of epoxy, fiberglass, and polyurethane. Echoing these gazing reliefs, the artist’s latest work relies on similar mechanisms of defamiliarization and fragmentation, engaging with notions of identity and “otherness" that fuel stone soap glory.
Foregrounding Boccato’s project at Mister Fahrenheit is a new sculpture from his most recent lionworks series. Reminiscent of a garden ornament, gatekeeper statue, or heraldic charge, a cast concrete lion sits vigilantly on top of a found bass amplifier, elevated as if to lock gazes with his viewers, or stare them down. While the artist typically exhibits his lionworks in a larger scale, and together in groups, this smaller, single sculpture lends a new air of vulnerability to these figures, perceptible to a greater extent by the imposing pair of eyes that loom over the work from the wall behind.
Recalling the methodology used for his faceworks, Boccato realized the second part of stone soap glory by restructuring fragments from a sourced Vogue cover into a towering, floor-to-ceiling wall portrait. Digitally splicing the face of the issue’s cover model, the artist subsequently tweaked and reorganized the subject’s features to achieve perfect, and eerily unnatural, facial symmetry. A nod to the theory of symmetry as a measure for physical beauty, this work is offset by its own materiality – inherent surface and printing imperfections that challenge direct representation. Under the penetrating gazes in Boccato’s exhibition, boundaries between the familiar and the foreign, artifice and reality, and power and subordination seem to recalibrate, eliciting broader questions of identity, and the ways in which it is constructed.
Born in Campinas (São Paulo, Brazil) in 1991, Daniel Boccato currently lives and works in New York. The artist received his BFA from The Cooper Union School of Art, New York in 2014. Boccato’s recent solo exhibitions include stiff neck garden, Berthold Pott, Cologne (2019); fly like an eagle, Ribot Gallery, Milan (2018); gatekeeper, Tabacalera, Madrid (2018); and nut, nuts, nut job, Sorry We’re Closed, Brussels (2017). The artist’s work has also been featured in group shows at Carl Kostyál, London; Musée & Jardins Van Buuren, Brussels; Art Academy of Cincinnati, Ohio; The Journal Gallery, New York; and White Columns, New York. In September 2019, Boccato will present a two-person exhibition with Loup Sarion at M+B, Los Angeles.
Mister Fahrenheit is an independent project space for contemporary artists and curators. The program is devoted to realizing cross-disciplinary projects and collaborations outside of traditional gallery and institutional contexts. Established in 2019 by Phyllis Lally Seevers, Mister Fahrenheit is located in the West Village, New York City. For more information, visit www.misterfahrenheitny.com.
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