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19 MONROE ST
NEW YORK, NY

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JONATHAN HARTSHORN

Suckers, copycats, lollipops, fast cash, fashion, one hit wonders and heat lamps
October 12 - November 11, 2018
Opening reception: Friday, October 12, 6-8 pm


Essex Flowers is proud to present Suckers, copycats, lollipops, fast cash, fashion, one hit wonders and heat lamps, a solo show of Jonathan Hartshorn. On display are 9 lollipop holders complete with a variety of brands and flavors. Not on display are nine paintings, here only as accoutrements. A bonus prize offered as a "buy one get one" deal to the works on display.   

These kinds of exchange values are a concept Jonathan constantly negotiates. Just as Basquiat would trade a drawing for a pack of cigarettes or many of today's artists swap artwork for healthcare, Jonathan also offers artwork specific to the context of an exchange, often in his practice sending work in the form of a "care package", bartering trades of his works, or depositing them at second-hand resale stores.

Function often serves as a back door to shifting value. Here that tactic is only thinly veiled. It is unlikely any of these will go home to replace anyone’s preexisting lollipop holder, and the terms under which these qualify as such are scarce. What is a lollipop holder other than a substrate with an 1/8 inch hole, anyways? Into the bargain, a rolled up painting is offered as a free consolation prize with your purchase, echoing the quotidian vocabulary of store sales typically avoided in art dealings. This offer is not only intended to be a way to give you "more for your money," but a means of creating a hierarchy in which the painting does not ascend to the highest level.

However, here I am wasting all this time focused on exchange when there are these very nice lollipop holders for you to look at. They so playfully embrace the colorful vocabulary of candy into an evolving bouquet. And while they willingly outsource the arrangement of this bouquet to the choices of others (the choice of lollipops, or even their presence at all, is not dictated by the artist) there is no lack of the artist’s hand on display. Jonathan’s work is generous. He invites chance and a malleable sort of user interaction but he is not stingy with his own gestures. He doesn’t ask his audience to impose their mark on a blank slate in order to maintain conceptual sterility. His hands are the dirtiest of all. After all it’s his artwork.
Jonathan Hartshorn (b.1976) is a New Mexico based mixed-media artist inspired by the charms of the vernacular. Hartshorn is a graduate of both The University of New Mexico (BFA), and The School of Visual Arts, New York (MFA). He has had solo exhibitions at Galerie Sébastien Bertrand, Geneva, Roberts & Tilton, Culver City, CA, Feature Inc., New York, Samson Projects, Boston and MoMA P.S.1, among others.
Suckers, copycats, lollipops, fast cash, fashion, one hit wonders and heat lamps is organized by Jeffrey Tranchell.