Artist: Danny McDonald
Venue: House of Gaga, Los Angeles
Exhibition Title: Nightmare Scenarios
Date: February 18 – March 25, 2017
Full gallery of images, press release and link available after the jump.
Images courtesy of House of Gaga, Los Angeles
Perched atop an oversized Coke bottle, a skeletal Ronald McDonald clown greets his own finitude with a big, facepainted smile. The Last Mexican Coke, 2017, is an allegorical End of Times scenario, still recycling after all is lost. Other compact tableaux involve an arms-dealing troll about to hit the panic button, a predatorial fish devouring a cute Pixar fish, a channel surfing zombie, Darth Vader snuffing out or gay bashing Pee Wee Herman, and a group portrait of Trump’s all-white, all-male nightmare cabinet. Altering and hacking readymade characters taken from the place where Hollywood meets low brow merchandising and our stoned, media-addled imaginations, McDonald crafts meme-like arrangements that do a lot with almost nothing. These are deviant little blockbusters made of the commonest trash. Doctored action figures transitioning and mutating at the edge of familiarity are set into stunning, startling, sometimes charming and endearing compositions that tell the great story of Steve Bannon’s Fourth Turning, or a nation’s possession and date rape by the forces of chaos, after which it’s reborn miraculously from its own ashes as a posthuman community under the sign of the clown-eagle-skull, sans immigrants, sans queers, sans brains. Turning one’s gaze from Danny McDonald’s haunted house of horrors to the reality TV outside the gallery’s colorized windows, MacArthur Park and the skyscrapers of downtown L.A. in the distance are bathed in a sickeningly gorgeous blood orange.
Danny McDonald (b. Los Angeles, CA 1971) is an artist living and working in New York City. McDonald recently had solo exhibitions in Maccarone, New York; House of Gaga, Mexico City; and group exhibitions at Migros Museum, Zurich and Sculpture Center, New York.