The Art Army Royalty
September 10, 2011
through October 8, 2011
NEW YORK, NY (August 16, 2011) — Jonathan LeVine Gallery is pleased to announce The Art Army Royalty, new works by Seattle-based artist Michael Leavitt, in what will be his first solo exhibition at the gallery.
The Art Army is a project in which Leavitt creates one of a kind, fully articulated sculptures by hand in an “action figure” scale, each in the likeness of a well-known artist, incorporating the style of the subject’s artwork. Since 2002, this ongoing series of unique sculptures represent artists from every great movement of Modern and Contemporary Art, from Warhol to Banksy. This exhibition marks the first time Leavitt will satirize and pay homage to the world’s most famous, established, living artists. Over twenty contemporary art stars are included such as: Takashi Murakami, Cindy Sherman, and Matthew Barney.
Each figure is sculpted from scratch in polymer clay, surface-finished and texturized with acrylic paint and mixed media. Leavitt engineers the miniature sculptures with articulating joints, assembling moving body parts with elastic cord so that the figures can be posed.
Leavitt’s Art Army is a satire on consumer culture, reducing the collector compulsion of two markets—art and product—into a miniature scale. Using the vinyl toy industry as a vehicle to convey the phenomenon of idolization and celebrity status in contemporary art and culture, Leavitt transforms the subjects into caricatures, along with the work they are best known for. Examples include portrayals of Damien Hirst as a shark dissected in half, Jeff Koons as a balloon animal, and Kara Walker with a paper-thin silhouette.
ABOUT THE ARTIST
Michael Leavitt was born in 1977 in Seattle, Washington, where he is currently based. He studied at Pratt University in New York and Evergreen University in Washington State. His work has been exhibited by galleries in New York, Los Angeles, Seattle and London and published in numerous books and magazines such as TimeOut New York and Juxtapoz.