The Garboushian Gallery is a quiet little art destination in the heart of Beverly Hills, just a block West of Rodeo between Santa Monica Blvd and Brighton Way. The street is a bit quieter and neighborhoody than Rodeo, Beverly, or Cañon; however, it still is just as Beverly Hills as the rest of the streets. Garboushian is a discreet little gallery with a glass façade stating the show’s name and some pieces of art. Since this past Friday on through December 16, Beverly Hills visitors will be in for a special treat that directly “reflects our culture of extreme consumption, acquisition, appearance, and materialism” that the neighborhood is notoriously known for: Consumptive curated by Shana Nys Dambrot.
Gathering eleven very different and very good artists, Shana is able to draw collective and individual narratives on the nature consumption. The art displayed at the show ranges from video to painting to sculpture to various other forms of expression. It all balances out quite nicely, pairing Austin Young’s hyper-colored extremist plastic surgeried characters against Gina Stepaniuk’s subdued and conflicted abstract landscapes: everything in the show is both maximal, minimal, overstated, and understated at the same time.
It may be easy to lump Consumptive as a large comment on materialism, but that would be a very, very naive assumption. A few pieces speak directly to the art community and practice of creating art in a self-reflexive manner that may in fact be the most consumptive. One example is York Chang’s Re-Spirtualized I and Re-Spirtualized II, which is staged as a recreation of an art happening from the start of the last decade that involved an art curator’s being kidnapped against his will while those around him were led to believe he was a part of the “installation.” Of course, this radical work appears to be that on the surface but speaking with gallery owner Herair Garboushian, he will happily tell you that the piece is a part of a greater conceptual performance all created by Chang. It’s quite fascinating to hear how each piece expresses the idea of consuming–even if it art itself is the butt of the joke.
Consumptive at Garboushian Gallery reflects the “hyper-consumptive character of our society” in a way that is equally as entertaining as it is highly intelligent. The show comes just in time for the holiday shopping season and was designed to comment directly on storefront sales and the need to spend around this time of year. Hopefully, passersby eager for sales on Rodeo will happen upon Garboushian Gallery to get a bit of what the doctor ordered: a reality check.