Freight + Volume presents STORE-BOUGHT, an exhibition of new sculptures by David Baskin.
The exhibition will be on view from February 25th through March 25th.
Opening Reception: Saturday, February 25th, 6-8 PM
…” this aesthetic masterpiece will add interest to a room and compliment your carefully
curated contemporary modern style. We understand how important your home is and how
decorating your kitchen, dining room or bedroom with classy contemporary art can help
make it a place that reflects who you are. We believe in the power modern art has in creating
not just a home but your home. We believe in feeling good about our home’s environment
and we think you do too”.
-Product literature of a store-bought artwork from Home Depot.
Identifying with a consumer brand implies individuality and defines who we are in a market driven world.
Veiling the interchangeable nature of consumer behavior within the workplace, the marketplace and our
private domestic interiors, personal identification with a brand offers the feeling of uniqueness within a flood
of sameness. Describing the collector as “the true resident of the interior”, Walter Benjamin refers to the
private individual as reliant upon the domestic realm to sustain one in his or her illusions, a refuge from the
workplace and outside world- a “phantasmagorias of the interior”. Focusing on the little-known production
and distribution of corporate artwork available online through Home Depot, West Elm or Ikea and marketed to
the middle-class consumer, David Baskin’s recent sculptures engage the roles of consumer, collector, and
Acquiring these store-bought works of art which offer a consumerist spin on the utopian Modernist ideal of an
“art for the masses”, Baskin made molds and casts to re-present these corporate-authored, generic artworks
within their cultural origins (the studio, the art gallery, the home) revealing a kind of gleeful consumerist
celebration via limitless fetish objects which collectively release us from the disappointment of failed utopias.
Cheaply produced through a globalized economic system, these corporate objets d’arts available at big box
stores conflate the implied uniqueness of consumer choice with the rarified status of a work of art. Devoid of
identifiable authorship and brandishing price tags and product guarantees, they extend Duchamp’s
readymade gesture into the realm of mass consumption while reversing his deadpan intent; the “readymade”
is now the consumer object that began as art.
In extracting these symbols of high art meant to appeal to aspirational desires of the consumer and “putting
them on a pedestal”, David Baskin’s orphaned Modernist objects present the unfulfilled utopian goals of the
modernist project as a kind of fodder for the fraught world of middle-class taste, engaging humor and satire
as they reveal the many contradictions evident in repackaging high art to appeal to mass cultural taste.