The Drawers - Thomas Ackermann   Commentary written by Julie Oakes

 exhibitions in the drawers in the gallery commentaries artists catalogs contact


An Exotic Erotic Christmas, Dec 9 - Jan 11, 2007

Inside plastic boxes so that they can't be touched, turned over, or pinched to test their virtual reality, nor can they be marred, the wax sculptures by Tom Ackermann are a mixture of attraction and repulsion. They are not comely beings but they're also not completely ugly. The petite figurine is infused with the air of better times, like a Barbie doll memory gone wrong, as if the coated feminine plaything might have fallen into the hands of a boy, prepubescent and experimenting on his hapless subjects. And with boyish delight the naughty contortions have been creatively indulged. There is the residue of a gleeful, willful wickedness -“what can I do to her now?!” Ackermann has had his way with Barbie and the offspring of the strange coupling appears to carry a mutant gene.

There is also a strange beauty in Ackermann's waxen and molten fluctuations of humanoid forms that have an unrealized quality as if they didn't quite reach full term and were relegated to an everlasting nascent region where beginnings were halted and fixed in wax. There is the inference of a prototypical mold that has not yet been approved for full-on production. It is this 'original' prescience that grants the little forms their attraction. Despite the severance from recognized fetal, fairy or baby forms, they have an understandable and acceptable proportion.

The latex molds on paper work in much the same way with more of an experimental time line implied. They seem like sketches for the finished works, with the freedom to try on more skews as if Tom Ackermann allowed himself to be even more manipulative with his company of dolls. Like Gericault bringing in his body parts, there is a curious question as to what Ackermann will bring into his studio next.

Copyright © 2007,  Headbones Gallery