New Launch Pad exhibit explores desire, materialismWritten by Toledo Free Press Staff Writers | | firstname.lastname@example.org
A new solo exhibit by Toledo artist Tim Gaewsky explores the concept of instant gratification and the frustrations felt during the pursuit of it.
“Chasing Rainbows” will be featured at the Launch Pad Cooperative gallery, 911 Jefferson Ave., in Downtown Toledo. The opening ceremony is set for 6-9 p.m. Jan. 11. The exhibit will run through Feb. 8. The gallery is not open for walk-in hours, but will offer free viewings by appointment.
The exhibit will include several assemblages, an interactive installation and two wall pieces. A common element among the assemblages is the inclusion of unscratched instant lottery tickets, surrounded by lavish displays of color. The lottery tickets symbolize the inspiration behind Gaewsky’s exhibit.
“This is an extension of a body of work that I started last year,” Gaewsky said. “I was exploring the idea of instant gratification. I was questioning one’s desire for instant gratification in multiple forms, whether it is the potential of winning an instant lottery ticket, or an impulse buy or buying something off of an infomercial.”
While constructing his pieces, Gaewsky intentionally monitored his own habits as a means to recognize and gain a firm grasp on the concept behind his creations.
“Through the work, and examining it for myself, I will buy lottery tickets. I will give in to the impulse buy. I’m trying to understand what makes it so easy for one to give in,” Gaewsky said.
His research has revealed that a certain component is common to many of his consumptions.
“What I’ve found, through examining my own purchases and acquisitions of things I can’t live without, so to speak, are the [types of] colors that advertisers use. It’s a pretty rudimentary, childlike aesthetic — bright color, bold shapes in their advertising and commercials,” Gaewsky said. “It catches the eye, and it draws you in.”
Gaewsky is building on that practice of using simple colors and shapes, seeking to lure the viewer into the work, to the point where they will soon realize that there is another type of commentary being made.
“It’s raising certain questions, or things to consider other than just the visual aesthetic of the work.
“It’s not so much about wanting to preach, or be critical about it; it’s more about putting it out there for the viewer to experience, and hopefully they’ll see it — there will be that moment when they realize there is something more there,” Gaewsky said.
Gaewsky has seen such reactions before, especially to the unscratched lottery tickets. He explains that a shift often happens when viewers ponder the tickets, many asking whether he or she may scratch off one of them. A refusal is usually followed by the question, “Well, what if it’s a winner?”
“It really triggers that thought of instant fortune, but then there’s the denial of it, and that’s what the work is really about in these pieces,” Gaewsky said. “It’s almost like dangling a carrot in front of them that they’ll never be able to obtain.”
An interactive installation featured in the exhibit will offer some satisfaction to viewers who seek the thrill of victory. It incorporates a slot machine guests can play with, along with a bucket of tokens.
“They can play as long as they want. There’s no real prize; it’s just the thrill of being able to play,” Gaewsky said.
Among the materials Gaewsky used for the pieces are a type of PVC called Sintra, didactic panels formerly used for other art exhibitions and latex and acrylic paints.
The Launch Pad Cooperative will host a closing ceremony for the exhibit and a catalogue release party from 6-9 p.m. Feb. 8. The event will feature extended poetry readings by Kayla Williams and Zach Fishel and an essay reading by Bert Davis.
“Chasing Rainbows” is the fourth in a series of solo exhibits featured at the Launch Pad Cooperative. Following Gaewsky’s work will be exhibits from Kimberly Adams and Julia LaBay.
For more information, or to schedule an appointment to view the exhibit, email email@example.com