DEB SOKOLOW / MATRIX 166
February 7, 2013 – June 30, 2013
Download the MATRIX 166 Exhibition Brochure.
Based in drawing and storytelling, artist Deb Sokolow takes a comic book approach to her art as if pulling the pages out of the book and spreading the outrageous and complex tales across the walls of a gallery.
With the 2012 presidential election in mind, Sokolow created the site-specific Some concerns about the candidate for her MATRIX project. Told through the eyes of a campaign worker—specifically, “you”—the narrator becomes increasingly concerned about the behavior of a persuasive candidate, in addition to the questionable tactics employed by a crafty campaign consultant, in order to secure a win in the upcoming U.S. Congressional election.
Sokolow’s paranoid tales are always based in well-researched facts and expanded by a wild imagination. The fictional story in Some concerns takes place on a campaign stop in Hartford, Connecticut, following in the footsteps of major political leaders like Washington, Lincoln, and Kennedy. The candidate, Jim Jones, is based on the real-life People’s Temple cult leader known for his power of manipulation over California politicians in the 1960s and 70s, as well as mind control tactics used on his followers. The fictional magician of a campaign consultant, David Copperfield, is loosely based on the real-life master illusionist.
Although a commentary on politics, Some concerns about the candidate is primarily an exploration of human nature and the cult of personality.
As part of the museum’s Community Engagement Initiative, Sokolow led an afternoon-long workshop for teens and their adult mentors from True Colors to create accordion book journals, similar to those in MATRIX 166.