5 Year Anniversary Art Exhibition – Artist Portfolio Magazine
Hadar Kleiman – San Francisco, CA
In my work I am very much influenced by Las Vegas, which creates an almost impossible visual phenomenon – sculpturally and architecturally. The impossibility of Vegas, in my eyes, represents itself in the faux textures, fabricated spaces, and absurd situations like waterfalls and palatial gardens in the middle of the desert. This artificiality coexists in the same environment as the overdosed luxury of materials like real gold and marble. I dissect these elements and reuse them to reflect on their meanings and symbols. These materials of Las Vegas are used to create a diorama like sense of reality, where one could lose oneself to the decadence of falseness.
Much like rendered textures in the digital space; the objects use textures and colors to convey essence. I use common signifiers and symbols to evoke certain associations, such as the way a palm tree is associated with blue sky in a tropical vacation setting. The surfaces and forms of Las Vegas are fascinating to me, because, as architect Robert Venturi wrote in his book Learning from Las Vegas: “The mixing of styles meant the mixing of media. Dressed in historical styles, buildings evoked explicit associations and romantic allusions to the past to convey literary, ecclesiastical, national, or programmatic symbolism.”
I try to strip the common meaning of familiar shapes and challenge them in a way that questions their usual or normal perception. To do so I base the sculptures on strong characteristics of the original objects. Fakeism, as I like to call it, is my way of making things that pretend to be what they are not.
Questions about reality, memorial, death and romance are other interests I include in the pieces in a way that is meant to trigger viewers’ own associations. Changes in scale, material, and combinations of elements are there to create a sense of instability and to bring up skepticism about the “realness” of objects that are trying to be icons but are made from basic materials like concrete, clay and wood.