Cinders continues their tradition of quirky summer group shows with their newest installment, Crooked Smiles, Steady Voices, and a Trunk Full of Cash, which turns their storefront gallery space into a faux used car lot, complete with automobiles and terrible sales pitches. Though one can describe most of the work on view as cute, don’t let it fool you, for cuteness is only a gateway to a larger critique of American car culture, soaring gas prices, and our obsessive consumer-driven lifestyles.
Sto, a co-owner of Cinders, is the creator of the green paper mache and cardboard used green car occupying most of the floor space in the gallery, that comes equipped with all of our favorite fast food delicacies. Resting on the dashboard are a few handmade cassette tapes, one featuring the title Highway to Hell, which in this context seems to reference the state of America more than the AC/DC hit song.
The watercolors of Kelie Bowman, co-owner with Sto, illustrate a number of alternative uses for the abandoned cars littering our land. More fantastical than realistic, one such work turns a graffiti ridden hoopty into a planter for flowers, as another turns an abandoned automobile into an overflowing closet for all your clothes.
Bobby Hacker's Fun Town Auto is a maddening "commercial" for a Portland-based dealership that promises to finance a car to anyone and anything, no money down! Hacker's aggressivesales pitches are entertaining to watch and at the same time bittersweet, for as one watches the video, you know that someone out there is continuing to live past their means by opting for such disastrous finance plans.
On that note, get on down to Cinders Gallery, where their prices for available works are INNSAANNEE!!!! I guarantee.
Images: Sto, Used Car, 2008; Bobby Hacker, Fun Town Auto, 2008; Kelie Bowman, Car Planter, 2008;. All images courtesy Cinders Gallery.