From Relics to Art: Daniel Arsham’s Wandering Exhibition Reimagines the Present
Wandering, Daniel Arsham’s fourth solo exhibition at Galerie Ron Mandos gives us a glimpse of a post-apocalyptic future where everything we know morphed into an archaeological relic. Arsham, one of the industry’s most in- demand contemporary artists, shows three brand new series of paintings, drawings, and sculptures in which the artist bends the dimensions of existing structures and time.
Arsham’s ‘mythical contemporary archaeology’ erodes familiar forms and changes the nature of architectural structures, classical figures, and even cars into archaeological objects. The artist deliberately selects iconic items that represent the late 20th century or millennial era when technological advancements rapidly accelerated, leading to the obsolescence of many inventions and the digitization of our world.
Daniel Arsham’s artistic style blends elements of romanticism and pop art, creating evocative yet playful visions that intertwine the past, present, and future. He skillfully employs a dramatic play of light, and the erosion of objects to create a distinctive sense of depth and contrast in his art. In his work he explores the universality of symbols and gestures, transcending cultural boundaries and imbuing his works with a timeless monumental quality.
AI (Artificial Intelligence) generated images are used as inspiration for his new series of paintings. Arsham gives sets of phrases or words to the computer to create new images. To infuse his distinct style with the modern AI approach, he merges his previous works with new ones. As a result, the artworks present futuristic and post-apocalyptic themes, chal- lenging conventional perceptions and pushing the boundaries of art, tech- nology, and culture. In some instances, he features architectural structures from his previous paintings or eroded sculptures of classical figures and cars. The works have a lot of texture, created using an impasto technique and limited color palettes, capturing light and contrast to depict archaeological objects in a state of decay.
Another remarkable attribution to Wandering is Daniel Arsham’s custom- made car keys, created using a range of geological materials such as se- lenite, quartz, pyrite, and volcanic ash. These keys possess a post- apocalyptic appearance, resembling objects that have been buried for ages and only recently unearthed. Through crafting these vintage keys in his unique style, Arsham demonstrates his deep passion for cars and alludes to his exhibition this year at the Peterson Automotive Museum, which featured fully functioning eroded classic cars.
Wandering also showcases Arsham’s other big love, his latest collection of kinetic watches. Each handcrafted mechanical timepiece reflects the passage of time while embodying his signature style.
Daniel Arsham’s work, particularly in this exhibition, is all about the con- cept of time. Arsham’s pieces explore the passage of time and the erosion of objects over the years, giving them an ageless and monumental quality. Through his art, Arsham invites us to reflect on the fleeting nature of life and the impermanence of the objects and structures we create, reminding us that everything we give value to will even- tually turn into an archaeological relic.