Recap: Walter Robinson’s ‘Indulgences’ at Dorian Grey Gallery

Posted on: March 7th, 2013 at 11:51 am by

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With all of the outcry over the 7-Elevens and corporate fast food chains which have popped up like vicious, unwelcome dandelions or carpetweed in your lovely East Village garden, Walter Robinson’s exhibit “Indulgences,” which opened Friday March 1st at Dorian Grey Gallery, highlights the gluttonous, carnivorous desires that tantalize us from those corporately-owned window displays.

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Robinson very clearly shares many visual elements with his New York Pop-Art predecessor/contemporaries such as Andy Warhol and Roy Lichtenstein, using pop-culture images to highlight society’s less than admirable desires, provoking feelings of simultaneous attraction and repulsion.

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As the press release explains, Robinson depicts “imagery that has been specifically designed to evoke hunger in its many modalities.” On display are visual representations of the perfect fulfillment for all sexual hungers, hunger for vice-indulgence and just plain, guttural hunger. With depictions of pornography (in both the stereotypical male sense as well as the woman’s soap opera idealizations), bottles of booze, and a big, greasy burger and french fries combo, Robinson appropriates and isolates images that were initially intended for promotion, and gives them new light in thickly-coated paint, and bright gallery lighting.

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These “Indulgences” are the exact reason why McDonald’s and 7-Eleven do exist in the East Village/LES, neighborhoods which would like to be preserved as anti-corporate safe havens for small businesses. (I won’t get into another nostalgic, anti-gentrification rant). Nonetheless, when it is two in the morning, and you have one of these insatiable hungers (a pack of smokes, a bottle of beer, a Reeses Peanut Butter Cup, a burger and fries), morality seems to become secondary to fulfillment.

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Walter Robinson’s “Indulgences” will be on display at Dorian Grey Gallery (437 East 9th Street @ Avenue A) through March 31. Tues-Sat 12-7, Sunday 12-6

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