Alejandro Diaz and friends at Julia Friedman

DiazFriedmansigning.jpg


Maybe it's the times, maybe it's the season, but there is a lot of fun and a lot of heart to be found in the Chelsea gallery blocks these days. The latest example is the group exhibition which opened at Julia Friedman last night, where Alejandro Diaz could be seen seated against a wall cranking out his signature cardboard signs while cradling his small mastiff, Diego.

Each of his works is available at the unprecedented rate of exchange of only $20. Disclosure time: We had already been enjoying two from this continuing series for years, and for our visitors they have always been among the most literally remarkable pieces to be found on our walls. Last night we came home with three more.

In the image seen above Diaz is seated below:

STRAIGHT MAN
TRAPPED IN A GAY
MAN'S PARTY
He's finishing up:
WORLD'S
LARGEST
PECAN
3 MILES [bold arrow to the right]
The other artists or designers included in the show are Feral Childe, Christine Hill, Derek Sullivan, Vexed Generation and Judy Werthein.

The gallery describes an installation which is as seasonal and political as much as it is a not uncomplicated delight to shop:

As a functioning store, "THE GIFT boutique" features a gift wrapping station, a selection of books, CDs, magazines, wrapping paper, packing tape, and clothing, all created by artists and designers whose play on the "boutique" model belies their sensitivity toward commercial practices, and in ways that both laud and critique this association. The presentation in a commercial gallery not only reinforces how easily these artists and designers assume corporate identities, but how each redefine the parameters of the boutique to create personal exchanges between themselves, their "products," and the consumer.