CHICAGO - Mutiny, Munition, Mutation, a solo exhibition of paintings by Chicago artist Mikelle Holt will be on view at Kruger Gallery, 441 North Clark Street, from April 1 through May 1. Holt, an exciting, emerging artist, creates naively, sophisticated work that ignites a critical reconsideration of desire, dreams, status, and the "pursuit of happiness."
Using Barbie as a vehicle for cultural examination, Holt scrutinizes the tropes of the American dream, suburbia, fairy tale and commodity as prescribed in childhood and adult culture. Looking at themes as diverse as the Playboy Playmate to the expansion of suburbia, her work reproduces maps, Barbies, and products of mass commercial production juxtaposed into new, conceptually layered paintings.
In her Barbie Playmate series, the seemingly collective consciousness of the Playboy Playmates is addressed through a series of diptychs. Painting Barbie life-size, nude, and standing in front of her dream house door, Holt pairs this image with a framed Playmate Data sheet. Side-by-side, details from the data sheet are manifest within the painting creating a clever and humorous dialogue between the art and the cultural artifact. The collection of these works highlight culture’s prescription of femininity and trophy wife, the American drive toward status and grandiose living, and the mediated creation of conformity and consumerism, forcing contemplation as to the true nature of identity and desire.
Mikelle Holt was born in Dubuque, Iowa in 1978. She received a bachelor of fine arts from the University of Iowa in 2001 and a masters of fine arts from Northern Illinois University in 2011. She presently lives and works in Chicago.
An opening reception for the artist will be Friday, April 1 from 6 pm to 9 pm.
For information and photographs, contact Mikelle Kruger, (630)715-0500.