Installation view, West gallery
Jackson and Sienna De Govia
Angel City Eats
December 10, 2011 – January 21, 2012
Saturday, December 10, 6-8pm
Gallery KM is pleased to present Angel City Eats, a multi-media installation created as a collaboration between father and daughter Jackson and Sienna De Govia. The exhibition explores two of Los Angeles’s most notorious obsessions—celebrity and food—and does so through dueling yet complimentary visions of Los Angeles as it has been represented in the popular lexicon: that of the 1950’s television show Dragnet, and that of contemporary Kardashian-dominated Reality TV. The exhibition features larger-than-life painted characters on cutout wood flats by Jackson, and Baroque-styled food sculptures by Sienna made from materials including glass, clay, metal, fabric, edible candy and cake. The sculptures and character paintings are combined to create tableaux that viewers are invited to move through and around as they navigate the exhibition space, as well as large wall-mounted pieces, including overlapping headshot portraits by Jackson and a rotating mechanical sculpture of diminutive kicking boots by Sienna. The gallery will hold a reception for the artists on December 10th, from 5-8pm, during which guests will be encouraged to consume several edible sculptures.
In Angel City Eats, two artists who have spent their careers constructing fantasies for public consumption utilize the tools of their trade to deconstruct and re-examine those fantasies. Jackson De Govia, production designer for iconic films such as Die Hard and The 40 Year Old Virgin, and Sienna De Govia, food stylist for print and television including reality shows like Grill It with Bobby Flay, take their personal perceptions and observations of our culture of consumption and turn them back on us, inviting us into a participatory experience of the City of Angels in two of its most memorable moments of simulation.
The exhibition space is divided into two rooms, each of which will be devoted to one of the two time periods. The main room of the gallery will be dominated by figure groups representing the caffeinated and nicotined 1950’s Los Angeles of Dragnet’s Joe Friday, and the smaller gallery room will be transformed into Kim Kardashian’s 21st century super-celebrity society. In the Dragnet room, we stand next to Joe Friday and his partner Ben Alexander in front of a locker overflowing with cascading fabric doughnuts, while in the room next door Kim Kardashian’s entourage, here called the Celebritards, sport Byzantine halos of candy delicacies and worship the glorified Kim—bursting naked from a crumpled wedding dress.
The sensory experience of Angel City Eats is purposefully overwhelming and hyper-saturated, meant to evoke an emotional response. Jackson’s prettily constructed figures instill a reaction in the viewer similar to that of a theme park—fantasy at its populace-numbing and entertaining best—and when combined with the ornate detail and candied excess of Sienna’s food sculptures, the effect is disorienting and revealingly saccharine. By inviting us into these scenes of crime, punishment and excess, the De Govia’s remind us both of the consistency of our desire for dramatic simulation, and our complicity in the fantasies we consume.
Jackson De Govia is an Emmy award winning production designer, with over four decades of experience in film, television, and theater. Sienna De Govia received a BFA in sculpture from the California College of Arts in Oakland in 1999, and works as a food stylist for print, television and film. This is their first professional artistic collaboration.