Someday, New York
For Art-o-rama 2023, Someday presents a solo booth with New Yorkbased artist Tom Forkin.
Working across a wide variety of media, including: ceramic, watercolor, installation and sculpture, Forkin manipulates the typefied properties of his chosen materials and methodologies. His sculptures appear to exist outside the present moment – eliciting the environmentally-harsh and socially-hostile Western cities that blossomed through the 19th century. Locomotive models constructed from now-antiquated bar carts appear beside loose and gestural watercolors of kerosene streetlamp, toying with humanities penchant for nostalgia. Unglazed, earthen reliefs constructedthrough detailed etchings on fired clay both create and refuse narrative – each vignette defined by its withholding – while a singular recurring character seems to be the sole occupant, appearing periodically in various tableaux across the ongoing series.
In his more recent work, luminous and towering mushrooms constructed from wire mesh and watercolor-painted rice paper further manipulate the viewers sense of scale. The sculptures fuse references throughout art history and modernist design – from Noguchi’s famous Akari Light Sculptures that seek to capture the weightlessness of light, to the biomorphic papier mâché constructions of Lynda Bengalis. Conceptually, the fungi speak to the absurdity of our current moment in which the radical properties of psychedelics have been co-opted and corporatized. Painted to mimic the physical characteristics of Psilocybin (rounded golden caps; purple gills; bluish flesh and plum stems), the enlarged shrooms bring awareness to the cycles of homogenization within neoliberal society. Once seen as a threat to systems of power and sociopolitical norms, today psychedelics are less a countercultural threat than a capital-controlled means to increase focus and productivity within the workplace.
The very corporate powers that originally sought to suppress the enlighteningpotential of LSD ad magic mushrooms are now commodifying these same substances and selling them back to their own laborers – another capitalistic tool used to increase labor output and creativity in start-up think tanks – producing visionaries for the sake of corporate think-tanks; illumination in the form of fabricating markets, increasing capital.
Through these varied gestures, Forkin’s solo presentation functions as a strange and singular immersive environment for viewers to wander. Each gesture presents a singular vision while still working together to create both cohesion and friction.