LOS ANGELES, CA.- CMay Gallery
presents Heaven on Earth, a solo exhibition featuring new works by Los Angeles-based artist Manfred Menz.
Does the Goodyear Blimp dream of advertising clouds?
In a series of 14 photographs, Menz manipulates mundane cloudscapes into opportunities for advertisement. Chemtrails are decorated with the American Airlines logo; Coca-Cola perches on a serene cumulus peaking out from a hilltop; Netflix takes over a nimbus threatening to blot out blue skies.
Menzs work seems simple and impertinent at first glance: a warning of things to come from the malignant growth of corporate culture and our complacency watching it float by on our screens. Its so on the nose with the au currant meta-humor of deep fakes, it feels as insipid as an SNL sketch.
Heaven on Earth lands somewhere between comical and cautionary: a nervous laugh or an existential scream muffled by sleep paralysis. The innocuousness of Menzs satire is underscored by the fact that the work isnt glossy, it doesnt carry itself with the bearings of heroic labor. It has a plainness that allows us to discern fact from fiction. On the other, more insidious hand, corporate advertising is so codified that these photo-manipulations are funny compared to the sleek, clever ways we have been advertised to for decades. Our deepest desires have been hacked and a reality has been molded that we want more than our own.
my friends walked on, and I stood there trembling with anxiety and I sensed an infinite scream passing through nature. Edvard Munch on his inspiration for Der Schrei der Natur (The Scream of Nature)