The mythology and fanfare surrounding athletes can be–and usually is–quite silly. These men and women are paraded around as spectacles who are in another category of human that border on admirable superhuman and side-show oddity: they entrance, they entertain, they shoot, and they score. In the late eighties through the start of the nineties, John and Tock Costacos–two brothers who were sports t-shirt makers–started making fantasy photography that incorporated athletes, their superhuman capabilities, and pop culture. They created quite a spectacle themselves and, looking back on them, they were ridiculous…but brilliant! Next week at Country Club Projects and the Mondrian, For The Kids will open, a show that shares many of the works of the Costacos brothers.
The exhibition sees many of these pieces making a visit to the West coast. The pieces show athletes depicted as law enforcers or weapons or other exaggerated plays on sports terms, casting them as robotic Terminators and high-powered lawyers (like James Worthy above) to express their athletic prowess. “We wanted to make the athletes into comic book heroes,” the Costacos said of their pursuit, turning the athletes’ pet names into hyperbolized images (that companies like Nike would later swoop in and copy from).
The show is curated by Adam Shopkorn, who sent us a note about For The Kids. The show is coming from New York where it was at Salon 94 and will be moving on Seattle and Tokyo after its stay of a little over a month here. The bulk of the show will be at Country Club Projects while Sunset’s Mondrian will carry an extension. One thing to note is that the works coming out here will reflect West coast culture so be prepared to see a little Raider and Laker love.
The show opens next Saturday and is sure to be something everyone is going to be talking about because, well, it’s such a somewhat silly combination of subjects! Be that as it may, they are really great.