Vandeavors Gallery


Dan Lucal

Expensive Art

June 13 – June 14, 2015

Northside Festival

Vandeavors Gallery is pleased to present new works and an installation by Dan Lucal. In the body of work presented in Expensive Art, we are given insight into Lucal’s views on scale, replication, and perspective, especially as they relate to commodity and the art market at large. The diorama-esque display, which is installed into the back of the van, serves not to diminish the art’s impact, but to dilate our perception. “I’m viewing the whole thing as a potential instagram photo,” says Lucal. If the end point is to produce a work that is contained in a documentary photograph, then what difference does size make? In fact, it is this tension between presentation, documentation and the real, that drove Lucal to start his expensive art series in the first place.

Find an interesting object. Through staging, and lighting, and the use of photography, reduce it to its most essential replicable form: the fine art print. Print it nice and big, put a slick frame on it, hang it in a gallery, and put a fat price tag on it. Expensive art.

It seems cheeky, but this formula is borne out of a very sincere place. Lucal’s obsession with beauty, and flair for rendering it upon strange and quotidian objects is undeniable. It is within this framework that the word expensive best operates. It is almost like a mantra for Lucal, who in pursuing the creation of art, is also acknowledging the absurdity of putting a price tag on a process of smoke and mirrors, but keeping his fingers crossed nonetheless.

What does price have to do with anything? Is it a construction that the viewer considers when assessing and appraising a work? As in, wow, this work is expensive, so it must be good. Or is price an assertion of value by the artist themselves? As in, this work is so good, I must make it expensive. Lucal aims to blow up both these ideas, and Expensive Art lands somewhere right in the middle of them. Surely it is a worthy pursuit, to obfuscate what it is that brings value to a work, through photo-replication, and display, which is then re-replicated, and re-displayed. The viewer is left wondering where the valuable nugget actually is, but knowing that they want it.

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