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The Andy Warhol Museum Presents Transformer: The Art of Glenn Kaino
Glenn Kaino, Desktop Operation: There's No Place Like Home (10th Example of Rapid Dominance: Em City), 2003, Sand, wood, paint, plastic, and glue, Courtesy of the artist and The Project, New York.

PITTSBURGH, PA.- The Andy Warhol Museum opens the new exhibition Transformer: The Work of Glenn Kaino. The exhibition, Transformer: The Work of Glenn Kaino opens on May 3 and will be on view through August 31, 2008. Glenn Kaino, a Los Angeles-born and based artist, creates large-scale, mixed-media and kinetic sculptures which reflect his strategy of using unexpected formal changes and shifts of meaning to destabilize the viewer’s understanding of the familiar objects. The resulting artworks make reference to cultural history, political consciousness, quantum physics and contradiction.

This exhibition of 12 installation works as well as additional photography, all created from 2000 to 2008, includes Blue, The Siege Perilous, Simple System For Dimensional Transformation, and A Plank For Every Pirate. Also included is Desktop Operation: There's No Place Like Home (10th Example of Rapid Dominance: Em City) for which Kaino learned how to build the 14 foot high sand sculpture in the shape of the Emerald City by studying sand sculpting with the reigning Guinness Book Of World Records record-holder in 2003. The end result is the Emerald City inside of a super-sized executive’s desktop Zen garden. For a new work, Graft (Ostrich), an ostrich is covered with python skin complete with unconcealed stitches. “It’s really about the transmutation of identity and the creation of hybrid trajectories,” says Kaino, “A lot of my work is about taking opposing forces and finding a resonance balance. These pieces are sad, futuristic pieces - an animal that wants to be another animal and chooses plastic surgery.”

The Uberstars section of the exhibition is based on Kaino’s multimedia project, an online resource, provides users with a platform for self-expression, a free online space for web authoring for artists, fashion designers, musicians and writers. Uberstars, much like Warhol’s factory superstars, is Kaino’s given name to the superstars of this new digital world. Uberstars features Polaroids shot by Kaino with his Big Shot Polaroid camera of many of these cyber stars and will be displayed alongside Warhol’s own photographs of the factory Superstars. Kaino’s Uberstars include Cory Kennedy, Aaron Sandnes, Audrey Kitching, Rose Apodaca, Rami Kashou and Clint Catalyst. “It’s remarkable to see the many close parallels between Warhol’s Superstars of the 1960s and 1970s and these glam-fab ‘kids’ of today who boast their triumphs over the net for millions of visitors to pursue their 15 minutes of fame,” says Thomas Sokolowski, director of The Andy Warhol Museum.

A catalog with the same title as the exhibition will be published by Hatje Cantz later this year. This catalog will document the works and project activities of the exhibition and will include essays by David Levi Strauss, Larry List, Lauri Firstenberg, and Thomas Sokolowski. Tracey Shiffman, whose publication credits include Robert Rauchenberg, Frank Ghery, Julie Mehretu, and the MOCA-LA exhibit Skin and Bones, will be designing is catalog. An original comic book will also be interleaved throughout the publication.

Kaino acquired his MFA degree in University of California, San Diego. His work has been shown at the Whitney Biennial at the Whitney Museum of American Art in New York, The Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego, Artpace in San Antonio, REDCAT in Los Angeles, The Orange County Museum of Art, and The Studio Museum in Harlem.

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