Exhibition title: LUVRZ B H8RZ
Artist: Donald Fodness
Exhibition dates: January 6 -  — February 24, 2014
Exhibition space: Rude Gallery

LUVRZ B H8RZ was Donald Fodness’ first solo exhibition in the Rude Gallery. Fodness turned the gallery into a domestic space full of figures and furniture, including sculptural lamps, record players, and door beads. Fodness’ work exudes a raw humanity, entangling the humorous and the disturbing, the playful and the grotesque.

In LUVRZ B H8RZ the artist investigated figuration, a key aspect of his work, in a way that orients the figure towards domesticity and an interconnected duality. The sculptures are part domestic object and part figure, but not completely one or the other. Reiterating a sense of domestic partnership, separate figures are bound together as one through materials, stature, demeanor, and scale; even separate heads share a torso.

Fodness’ work embraces a crude, cartoon-like quality with a dry, grotesque emotional intensity. Pop culture, symbolism, and wit pervade his work. For example, the two-headed figure with skulls composed of a corncob pipe and flowerpot could literally be a “pot-head.”

And the title, LUVRZ B H8RZ, (pronounced “lovers be haters”) pays tribute to leet speak, or “1337speak”, a cavalier tone common in text messaging and internet chat rooms, which uses numbers as letters. Fodness uses this colloquial language to title the installation that is similarly comprised of a diverse array of common visual vernacular found in pop culture, notably in sports. Even the recognized image of the good (possibly “lovers”) and bad (possibly “haters”) angels on one’s shoulders is found in the two-headed figures who make up this complex exhibition of common cultural symbols.

Further marriage of symbols and opposites in Fodness’ exhibition include the exploration of both the differences and similarities between art and design. This multilayered installation is full of complicated multiplicities and is surprising,challenging, and in its own odd way, very real.

Works shown courtesy of PLUS Gallery and the artist.

Photography: Sara Ford