Swedish Erotica & Fiero Parts #13
Swedish Erotica & Fiero Parts bears many of the hallmarks of Jason Rhoades’s work, including the myriad thematic strands that course through it and the associative as well as formal freedom that the process of creating it entailed. Installed at Rosamund Felson Gallery in Los Angeles for the artist’s first solo exhibition, it was inspired by a seemingly endless tangle of references and ideas: the gallery exterior was light yellow, giving Rhoades the idea to incorporate one of the signature colors of the Swedish flag that, in turn, he connected to the Swedish porn industry and the inexpensive do-it-yourself Swedish furniture company Ikea. The result was an installation comprising several groups of objects, some of which resemble cheap shelving or furniture from Ikea, interspersed with photographs showing the artist shopping at the store. Its layout was also Ikea-like, in that it created a circuitous path for the viewer around cheaply made products as well as pastiches of Frank Gehry’s bent wood furniture (a nod to the architecture and design history of Los Angeles and a counterpoint to the watered-down modern design found at Ikea.) The last part of the work’s title refers to the Pontiac Fiero, the American bastardization of an exotic Ferrari-type European sports car, which Rhoades painted the same pale yellow as the gallery exterior and parked in the lot outside.
Jason Rhoades (b. 1965, Newcastle, California; d. 2006, Los Angeles)
Swedish Erotica & Fiero Parts #13, 1994
The Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles
Gift of Lari Pittman