If I could turn back time…whoa! What’s that? Oh, I’m just fantasizing about time traveling back to 1990s San Francisco, after being inspired by Magic Ben Big Boy, a current exhibition at Matthew Marks Gallery. A product of a specific time and place, the show centers around a recreation of Vincent Fecteau’s cat, eggs and shoebox (called Shirley Temple Rooms)-strewn first solo exhibition Ben (yes, named after the rat film) at the artist-run gallery Kiki. Joining Fecteau’s work are two other then San Francisco-based artists who had connections with Fecteau: Nayland Blake, for whom Fecteau assisted during this period, and Lutz Bacher whose inclusion Big Boy featured fabrication help from Fecteau.
As a whole, the exhibition, through these three connected artists, hints at the larger artistic community inhabiting San Francisco during the 1990s. It also highlights their chosen themes, whether unexpectedly moving puppet-based tributes to the losses due to the AIDS pandemic with Blake’s Magic, monumental odes to childhood trauma with Bacher’s anatomical stuffed Big Boy, or the pop cultural obsession with E.T. in Fecteau’s works.
It’s also a perfect candidate for a GIF review, which I’ve been woefully slacking on here at Filthy Dreams. So let’s strap into our time machine and take a GIF tour of Magic Ben Big Boy: