Chuck Nanney & Joel Otterson
Curated by Ugo Rondinone
Stand directly beneath Joel Otterson’s BOTTOMS UP 84 (2013), a chandelier of blue-green and violet plastic cups elaborately chained together, and look up, and it might resemble one of Chuck Nanney’s thin, disc-like acrylic paintings that surround it, pinned to the wall with push pins and bursting with bright auroras of color. Couple that with Nanney’s irregular, bumpy, and glittering wall-mounted works—one of which throws a gentle halo of pink against the painted metallic wall—and you have a supremely colorful, joy-filled show, curated by Ugo Rondinone at Martos Gallery.
Both Otterson and Nanney moved to New York to study fashion, and it shows. Just past the laced doily curtain which separates one half of the show from another—soft and feminine, but for the thick chains that hold it up—you’ll find yourself in Nanney’s fantasia of gender play. A neat, salon-style hang of hundreds of self-portraits in combinatorial outfits array these walls: in one, the jean jacket and floral short uniform of any odd Brooklyn male; in another, the palazzo pants and patterned shirt opened wide over chest hair of a more Italian flavor; and another that could be the uniform of a gallery attendant. Tulle, rose print, tight leather, and leopard print are particular favorites of Nanney’s; Otterson, whose cast metal candelabras and wall-based samplings in silk, wool, lace, metal, and coral intersperse his photographs, prefers a similar kaleidoscopic range of materials.
Chuck Nanney, sans titre, 1992. 336 inkjet prints, framed, 16 ½ × 11 ⅜ inches each.