Recently, I popped in at Lufthansa Studios in Dorchester to see the work of four School of the Museum of Fine Arts MFA students, some of whom had studied with Prof. M.  We saw the meticulously constructed coat check installation of Daniel Cevellos and perused Garett Yahn‘s Ruscha-esque book of commercial real estate for rent in the area.

Prof M was partial to an altered door by Kirk Amaral Snow, but I was immediately taken in by his performance/sculpture Sanded Lack.  Actually, I’m pretty sure that’s not the actual title, but I’m way to amused by the must-have disposable furniture called Lack to let it go.

Snow took a belt sander to the table, exposing the mostly cardboard innards.  I can only hope that in future performances he eventually reduces the Lack to its namesake, like a three-dimensional Erased de Kooning.  We also had a good laugh about the table’s claim to be “assembled in USA” — does that mean by you, the buyer? (and eventual destroyer)

Questions of authorship and cross-border trade also come up in the work of John C. Gonzalez, notably his amazing Self-Portrait Project.  Gonzalez commissioned the artists of a Chinese made-to-order oil painting studio/factory to paint their self-portraits.  In similar projects, Gonzalez hired the painters to paint their favorite color, happiest memory and their studios, but the self portraits stand out for me the most.  What is it like to paint pictures to order for clients you never meet?  Is it just a job or do they want to earn a living painting their own subjects?  What do they think of their customers?  What do they think about Gonzalez’ work?  It’s fascinating to look at these faces and try to imagine their work and their lives.