LACMA unveiled a new Alex Prager sculptural installation depicting a raucous office holiday party.
Installation view of Alex Prager: Farewell, Work Holiday Parties at Los Angeles County Museum of Art, November 21, 2020–January 3, 2021. Photo © Museum Associates/LACMA, photos by Joshua White/JWPictures.com.
The Los Angeles County Museum of Art is unveiling a new sculptural installation just in time for this year’s isolated holiday season. Alex Prager’s Farewell, Work Holiday Parties (2020), which is installed on the museum’s entrance plaza near Chris Burden’s Urban Light (2008), features 15 hyperrealistic figures in the throes of an office party, complete with drunken dancing, awkward photo-ops, and photocopier hijinks.
Prager worked with Hollywood-based effects company, Vincent Van Dyke Effects, to construct the eerily lifelike figures. Her process began by directing real actors to pose over Zoom while she scanned and printed their bodies at a 3-D printing facility. She then detailed the sculptures with paint, clay, and hair. She rounded out the installation with input from costume and production designers to ensure that the installation felt lived-in and properly chaotic, with minute details such as a text message break-up and lipstick-stained teeth making the work feel uncannily true-to-life.
Prager told the L.A. Times:
This is a very difficult time and there hasn’t been much humor in the world in the last nine months; it’s been a lot of hatred and a lot of polarization. Humor is a way to shine light on something that’s not necessarily an easy thing to experience—we can’t have these parties right now, we can’t have any parties—and this allows us to laugh at ourselves.
According to Artsy data, interest in works by Prager on the platform has seen a general increase since 2016, with inquiries doubling between 2017 and 2018, when the artist received a number of international solo exhibitions, including shows at the Musée des Beaux-Arts Le Locle, Switzerland, The Photographers’ Gallery, London, and Lehmann Maupin Hong Kong.