Recently in outside class visit responses Category
Ashley Bickerton, "L.W.S.2"
While at Chambers Art Hotel, our tour guide described the Ashley Bickerton piece as "one of the most controversial pieces in the hotel." After experiencing the full tour, I would have to agree. At first glance, one is bombarded with symbols, metaphors, and political and social commentary. The tour guide mentioned that Chambers is dedicated to contemporary art and is adamant about refraining from censorship. Although it is a hotel, Chambers is by no means a safe and repressive artistic environment. In my mind, its controversy made it one of the most intriguing and powerful pieces in the hotel.
"L.W.S.2" was a painting depicting an American residing in his home full of perverse pleasures. He is smoking a cigarette in his room, surrounded by pornography, junk food, television, and lubricants. Superimposed on the background is an American flag. The sunlight bleeding from either side of his room illuminates the flags colors. On his bed lies a pink blow-up doll. The American appears to be alone and content in his superficial isolation. Instead of wallpaper, he has cutouts of pornographic images. Beneath his bed, lie Kleenex and Vaseline.
Although I believe this social commentary to be exaggerated, I also believe that this exaggeration is important for people to see. The amplification of American consumerism and social isolationism makes its message more real. This exaggeration almost reminds me of old political propaganda cartoons. In its absurdity, a fundamental truth emerges. Media, sexuality, consumerism, and egocentrism saturate American culture. I believe it is important that this piece of art clearly informs people, especially Americans, on social flaws. I am impressed by the piece's honesty and effective voice. The design of what items and each of their placements helps the message come across clearly. In addition, I appreciate the symmetry of the work. This physical balance lets one concentrate on the various items in the room.