Ken Little's Little Changes
November 1 - December 31, 2005
Ken Little's exhibition Little Changes featured some of Little’s monumental steel casts, ranging from body-parts to articles of clothing, pasted over with real dollar bills. He is also the creator of a minimalist menagerie of fetish-like cast-iron masks, some of which were featured in this playful and exciting exhibition at [Artspace] at Untitled.
Little Changes exemplifies Ken Little's use of humor in masking the seriousness of his subjects. Layered in symbolism and satire, his sculptures cross the boundaries of mythical, historical and social barriers.
The large-scale currency works represent empty skins of American culture and its financially driven societal pursuits. In the piece Pledge, a hollow suit personifies a salute to the money it is encased in, suggests the cliché phrase "the clothes make the man," and alludes to the importance of monetary gain in corporate American society. There is an element of vacancy that exists within all the sculptures, pointing to the emptiness of contemporary culture and adding to the works' relevancy through anonymity and ambiguity.
The small bronze sculptures are hybrid forms combining both animal and human characteristics. Their mask-like quality implies ancient mythology and folklore while demanding a timeless presence through their capacity to personify the best and the worst of human behavior.
As Kathleen Whitney states in a commentary about Little Changes, "Through his hybrid sculptures, Ken Little delivers a satirical assault on contemporary culture via a complex web of visual plans and subtle political invective. Although it is partly satiric, partly ironic, partly despairing, his work is also a tribute to the beauty of nature and the complexity of the human condition."