WHAT IF IT BARKS? by Cosima von Bonin
Kenyan artist Cosima von Bonin presents her new show at Petzel Gallery, WHAT IF IT BARKS? featuring AUTHORITY PURÉE. It is von Bonin’s first full scale installation at their 18th Street location (her eighth show with the gallery) and is marked by more curious incongruities.
The artist’s marine motif is updated and extended in the gallery space to a sweeping fish farm: A group of polyester shark heads lurk in the open tops of wooden barrels—each jaw smirks, gnarling a soft toy rocket. Robed mackerel in synchronized display appear alongside bass-guitar and ukulele toting piscine beings, accented by 1970s-style short-board surfboards. But life is not all aquatic: Suspended from the ceiling an open, oversized cat food can exhales contiguous puffs. Printed on the side in white lettering are the words, “AUTHORITY PURÉE”. Von Bonin’s signature ‘rags’ or cloth paintings dangle from the gallery walls and dive deeper into nautical spheres.