In the Galleries: Chandelier Queer

Campy but aesthetically pleasing, Otterson's heroic sculptures elevate everyday objects.

BY Christopher Harrity

October 29 2013 4:00 AM ET

Maloney Fine Art thoughtfully provides this definition with its press release on Joel Otterson's upcoming show:

Definition, Chandelier Queer: A Homosexual with exquisite and/or expensive taste. An Elegant Fag. A self-spoiled fruit. Chandelier Queers (CQs) are not averse to sharing their exquisite luxuries with others, but they mainly indulge themselves. If you happen to know a CQ, you might accidentally share in some of his affluent tastes by proxy. — UrbanDictionary.com

Previous Artist Spotlight subject Joel Otterson is a magician with ad hoc sculpture, elevating found objects to mythic status. This exhibition at Maloney Fine Art will load the ceiling with three fetishized chandeliers made of hundreds of goblets from the '50s, '60s, and '70s that mimic the silhouette of a Baccarat chandelier.

For the past 25 years Otterson has combined the venerable with the banal, working his way through the American home — creating mash-ups of architectural elements, furniture, appliances, utilitarian objects, interior decorations, entertainment centers, and even a toilet (while an artist in residence in the Arts/Industry Residency Program at Kohler Co., 1991-92) — utilizing everything that has been invented to make our world a better place. Otterson's sculpture is a bricolage of domestic handicraft going beyond traditional stereotypes as an amalgam of sculptural techniques often associated with the masculine, with craft traditions that often allude to “women’s work.” It has been aligned with feminist thinking, gender bending, “Queer Aesthetics,” and, ironically, an embrace of American traditions like family, rock ’n’ roll, and baseball.

Joel Otterson: Chandelier Queer
November 1–December 21
Opening reception: Friday, November 1: 6-8 p.m.
Maloney Fine Art
2680 South La Cienega Blvd., Los Angeles

 


Bottoms Up #2, 2013
120 vintage press glass and cut crystal goblets, steel, metal chain, copper wire, electrical parts, 84” X 33” diameter

Tags: Art

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