Many things make our lives. These things witness how we live, objects existing around us as we are we.
Los Angeles artist Paul Pescador has a thing for these things. In his recent show CRUSHES at VACANCY, he explores what it means for things to standby as you and the others you are attached to live. It’s an awkward realization that there are always things watching, a Truman Show broadcasted to objects.
CRUSHES is composed of a few things, namely large photographs, small sculptures, and a looped film. The walls of the gallery are covered in yellow dots, these bright eyes that are on every surface, evoking a sense of fun, fear, and stress given that someone will have to clean all this up when the show closes in October. The (manipulated) photos balance observations of life’s little moments with painterly or drawn manipulations to highlight or obscure literal and figurative objectification.
The work, like the walls, offers a sense of watching while being watched, that we’re always hunting for something, crushing. Each work asks a question from an object’s point of view, suggesting an unseen-seen in the abstractness of the image that hides a literal, physical thing. Do you want to be comfortable? Do you want to have sex? Do you want to be full? Do you want to be seen? Do you want to laugh?
They all have faces too, even things that don’t actually have eyes. The effect of enlivening the inanimate creates a sense of intimacy in objects, relating to how we often see each other as objects and means to fulfill a need. Everyone and everything answers a question or solves a problem for you. In our little lives, we can’t exist on our own and these crushes—whether huge, with a person, or small, with an object—have meaning. Regardless of economics or world view, we all assign meaning to the things we desire. That’s why something like a foot might be mundane and common to most people but highly sexualized and sacred to some.
Pescador does so much with his work and offers a fun reflection of his own life that we all can see into. Again: the eyes, the watching, the constant performative nature of life. It’s a funny body of work that follows you, the anchor at the end of a series of projects. If you’re in Los Angeles, certainly stop in to see the show: it’s on view through October 8. Note to check ahead on when the space is open though, as it is a private gallery (and personal residence).