In a contemporary art market where the price of something is not related to its value, with collectors and gallerists and auction houses jockeying to inflate and maintain values for work by artists anointed with the Midas touch, you don’t have to worry about any of that with Pearce bronze! At least not yet. This work genuinely has the Midas touch, if everything Midas touched turned into an alloy of copper, manganese and zinc. The foundry used to create these pieces is owned by an 85 year old man who inherited it from his parents. He’s not going to last long too much longer, nor does his wife want to keep dipping into their savings to keep the business afloat. His kids have no interest in continuing the trade and unless a family member takes over, the foundry will no longer be grandfathered into the currently allowed industrial zoning uses. The bronze is sourced from old water meters and other recycled hunks. Then there’s the hours of polishing. What I’m trying to say is, you don’t have to worry about the relationship of this art to its value, and Banksy can’t shred it. And hopefully the piece will spark joy, so Marie Kondo won’t make you get rid of it.
A student of conceptual artist Fritz Carraldo, and with a nod to Andreas Gursky, Nancy Pearce captures ordinary household products in bronze, transforming the everyday into the iconic. Pearce compresses the visual information and heightens the tactical by dramatically increasing an object’s weight, enabling viewers to assimilate and consume more than possible with our eyes alone. Modifications such as simultaneously dulling and heightening the object’s details, and the addition of a mirrored surface, flatten and enhance the archetypal and the ephemeral forms alike. The spectacle of consumerism, such as a 99 Cent Store plastic poop emoji - appear elegant by utilizing highly polished bronze. The presented object is familiar yet mysterious, like something found in an archaeological dig. By portraying such heightened constructions of our shared existence — from dollar store to kitchen to bathroom — Pearce’s objects act as symbols of contemporary life.