Eric Hibit’s collages are an “I Spy” of all that is antagonizing about consumerism– marketing. The piece below resembles a childlike poster-board presentation of the product culture; the Coppertone Sunscreen baby, Tide detergent, a runway model, McDonald’s golden arches, etc. Hibit’s display of these elements also resembles the hodge podge of strip malls and streets lined with chain stores that trace the expanse of Americanism.
Earlier this year Maura Judkis, who writes for TBDArts, picked out Eric Hibit’s month long D.C. exhibit as a must see.
Times Square – a symbol of all that is garish and grand – informed Eric Hibit’s season-opener at Curator’s Office, where high and low, old and new, and handmade and consumerist objects intersect, much as they do at 7th Avenue and Broadway. Hibit’s art is referred to as “New American Folk Baroque” for its opulence and direct references to folk art history, which was influenced by Medieval reliquaries and Hindu temples, among other folk art cultures worldwide. The artist’s paintings and mixed-media installation extend from the wall, practically bursting at the seams with energy and the debris of American culture that Hibit has collected: Fashion advertisements, McDonalds logos, shopping bags and beer. View it with the lights on, but a few times this month, the gallery will host candlelight viewings, in which the gallery becomes a shrine to everything that America is, and is not.
As far as the decorative arts go, Eric Hibit’s work speaks loudly about consumerism as it clutters rather than decorates the American landscape. Hibit’s choatic collages display iconography in a most unsettling fashion, perhaps as a means of turning a viewer off right then and there from the product behind the brand. Specifically, in the piece, “Times Square,” Ronald McDonald’s face, as it is replicated and patterned, is so obnoxious the viewer is numbed to, if not disgusted by the branding, in effect turning the viewer off from the product. Here’s hoping.
Article By, Mary Smith