COME TOGETHER

KAREN LOFGREN, KEN LUM, JOEL OTTERSON, RUBÉN ORTIZ TORRES

JAN 16 - MAR 24, 2019

Royale Projects is pleased to announce ‘Come Together’, a group exhibition featuring Karen Lofgren, Ken Lum, Joel Otterson and Rubén Ortiz Torres, opening Sunday January 13 and running through March 24. 

John Lennon and George Harrison first experimented with LSD, unexpectedly, at a dinner party in the spring of 1965. The use of psychedelic drugs was a milestone in the Beatles career, transforming everything from their sound and influences to their public perception and personalities. Shortly after, Timothy Leary, a counter-culture psychologist known for his research of the therapeutic benefits of psychoactive substances, approached Lennon to write a campaign song for his ill-fated run for governor against Ronald Reagan. While Lennon struggled with writing the song, Leary was arrested for possession of marijuana, abruptly ending his political career. The singer-songwriter took his fragmented draft to the band and, from this, birthed a number-one hit of collaged nonsensical verses that is “Come Together”. This exhibition consists of works that similarly, force obscure ideas and disparate mediums to come together into profoundly bizarre yet impactful singular objects. 

Lofgren merges Fascinare, ancient Roman warrior amulets based on the phallus, with fig signs, or mano fica, an offensive gesture also resembling a woman’s anatomy. Juxtaposing these cast metal sculptures are clippings of women from erotic magazines mounted to sandpaper that the artist delicately censors with various medicinal plants. In Lum’s Tracy Bond Meets Pepe Pig, a painted logo is spliced with a strange photograph of a child meeting a furry pink mascot for a pizza parlor wearing a sombrero. Eliminating the dividing line between stereotypical gender roles, another bizarre amalgamation is found in Otterson’s work that combines domestic handicraft with sculptural traditions utilizing materials such as iron, wood and leather often associated with masculinity. Ortiz Torres reconfigures contrasting elements from various piñatas into uncanny, ghoulish characters while another cycle of deconstruction and construction is revealed as photographs of the sculptures are cut-out and arranged into intriguing compositions.