Perturbing and Picturesque Miniatures by Abigail Goldman
A verdant suburban neighborhood, a motel swimming pool, and a crowded hot dog stand are just a few of the settings for Abigail Goldman’s macabre scenarios. This August, Hashimoto Contemporary introduces the artist’s charmingly dismal sculptures for her new solo show, Mea Culpa.
Based in Washington, Goldman is infamously known for her miniature murder scenes, appropriately described as “Dieoramas.” Each sculpture is comprised of various materials commonly associated with model train sets, echoing a world similar to our own and yet standing a mere few inches high. In these minuscule scenes, it doesn’t take long to notice the debauchery taking place, from nonchalant dismemberments to animal attacks.
Goldman’s fascination in this subject matter began at an early age, eventually leading to a job as a crime reporter at the Las Vegas Sun and later as an investigator for the Federal Public Defender of Nevada. Her time spent analyzing the details of old crimes influences her current interest in miniature narratives.
One of the works in the new exhibition, titled “Problem Solver,” portrays a dusty desert landscape. In between two telephone poles, one can see a bloodied body lying facedown at the feet of a lone man and his parked car. Reminiscent of a scene from a Scorsese film, this work isn't too far of a stretch: the ground surrounding them was in fact collected from the Las Vegas landscape.
The artist’s attention to detail is engrossing and her razor sharp humor leaves one bordering between shock and laughter. The cheery size and disposition of each sculpture clashes with the unapologetic crimes taking place, often creating a more humorous reaction. Mea Culpa’s duality between the picturesque and the grim pokes fun at society’s fascination with violence and the abject.
Mea Culpa will be on view at Hashimoto Contemporary in San Francisco through August 27, 2016.