Mike Bouchet

United States of America, 1970

Mike Bouchet 

Born in 1970 in Castro Valley, California. Lives and works in Frankfurt.

The story of American art in the 1960’s and 70’s was one of un nished business, of movements or trends Photo Realism, Pattern and Decoration, Earth Art that got rolling only to be sidelined by the shifting enthusiasms of a restless market. This is one reason we now exist in a post-and-neo art world of revivals and comebacks.

Mike Bouchet’s work, at a time when the New York art world is distinguished chie y by hard sell and soft art, he and some of his colleagues are at least continuing to ask questions, instill doubts, raise a usefully confusing stink.

Several recent shows by New York City-based artists have taken as their subject the symbiotic relationship between images and commerce. Whether this workówhich often comes across as static in the pants of capitalismóallegorizes the ludicrously in ated market for young contemporary artists like themselves is debatable. It seems that a piece like Mike Bouchet’s ìThe New York Dirty Roomî (2005), a large room at the Lower East Side gallery Maccarone, Inc. lled with 50,000 pounds of topsoil bought at Home Depot, is an attempt at something timelessly memorable (the intentionally pathetic cousin of Walter de Maria’s ìNew York Earth Roomî) yet totally uncollectable. But aside from gestures such as these, which may or may not represent mocking smirks in the faces of collectors, much of the recent practice of a small group of New York artists apes corporate behavior. They’re innovating and selling products in a commercial marketplace; printing promotional labels; and arbitrarily asserting authority in hazy zones of ownership or authorship.

In the back gallery were ve paintings of Bouchet’s Goya Tapestry Cartoons, 2007. These ve paintings are images taken from American movie posters, thus playing on and exploring the aesthetic value Americans place on celebrities and the images their movies create. These paintings also play on cultural communication. Bouchet is interested in how the Romans used coins and busts of their leaders as a means of mass communication. The Modern world uses movie posters to create a universal cultural aesthetic and a universal understanding of cultural issues. By referencing movie posters’ imagery, Bouchet is considering modern means of mass communication and the cultural aesthetic they value. These paintings are clean and stunning in color and full of dynamic images that are meant to draw the viewer in, just as Goya’s Tapestrys once did.

Selected solo exhibitions
MR2, Alaia Exhibition Space, Paris (2015) | Y Ask Y, Carl Kostyal, Stockholm (2014) |
Power Lunch, Peres Projects, Berlin (2013) | The Untitled Video, The Box, Los Angeles (2013) | Flood, Marlborough Chelsea, New York (2013) | Canburger, Galerie Vallois, Galerie GP & N Vallois, Paris (2008) | Raging Control, Maccarone, Inc. New York, (2008) | Wall and Floor-Shitrock and Tapestry Cartoons, The Box, Los Angeles (2007) | Current Jacuzzis/Reich Room, MC Kunst, Los Angeles (2007) | Reaction Time, Circus Gallery, Los Angeles (2007) | 16x9 Action Film, Film Presentation, MOCA, Los Angeles (2007) | Recent Jacuzzis/Almost Every City in The World, Galerie Michael Neff, Frankfurt (2006) | Top, Back and Bottom of Mind Awareness, Maccarone, Inc., New York (2005) | Der Soziographische Blick 10. Mike Bouchet, New Jacuzzis - Carmen Electra, Tatjana Gsell, K. Lagerfeld, Jude Law, Robert Mugabe, Jack Welch, Kunstraum Innsbruck (2005) | Carpe Denim, Galerie Michael Neff, Frankfurt (2004).

Selected group exhibitions
Double Deck, Marlborough Monte Carlo (2014) | Eagles – Contemporary American Artists, Madrid (2012) | 27 Timer, Hollesgard, Denmark (2007) | Pawnshop, e-Flux, New-York, (2007) | Mind Hacking II, Muenster, Germany (2007) | Herbert Fuchs - Verbale, Workshop, Kulturgasthaus Bierstindl, Innsbruck, Austria ((2007) | 2e Biennale de Moscou, Moscou (2007) | New Economy, Artists space, New York (2007) | 5 Billion Years, Palais de Tokyo, Paris (2006) | Uncertain States Of America, Serpentine Gallery, London (2006) | Strich, Zeichnung, Bild, BAWAG Foundation, Vienna (2005) | Off Key, Kunsthalle Bern, Switzerland (2005).

Biennials
2016 1st Montreal Biennale, Montréal, Canada
2016 The European Biennial of Contemporary Art, Zurich,
Switzerland
2012 30th Sao Paulo Biennial, Sao Paulo, Brazil
2009 53rd Venice Biennale, Venice, Italy
2007 2nd Moscow Biennial, Moscow, Russian Federation
2006 4th Berlin Biennial, Berlin, Germany
2001 1st Ghent Quadrennial, Gent, Belgium
1997 47th Venice Biennale, Venice, Italy

Image Source: Tim Wegner