Robert Melee, ‘Bowling Pin’, 2010, Public Art Fund Benefit Auction 2015
Robert Melee, ‘Bowling Pin’, 2010, Public Art Fund Benefit Auction 2015

Estimated value: $6,000

Vivid color, kitschy paraphernalia, and the persistence of memory are crucial themes that recur in Robert Melee’s practice. The deposits of plaster and acrylic built up around a bowling pin in this 2010 sculpture suggest the way in which layers of meaning and association grow around even the most ordinary objects.

About Robert Melee

Robert Melee, who describes the theme running through his work as “high gloss, psychological abstraction,” explores the psychology of American suburbia in his campy videos, photographs, paintings, sculptures, installations, and performances. He characterizes his output as: “Brave, baloneyism, contrasting, plastic, organic, camp, fearless, humorous, gay, surface, honest, fake.” Among his numerous neologisms, “baloneyism” refers to what he sees as the aesthetics of suburban dysfunction, the sexual, social, and emotional repression masked by comfortable domestic interiors centered on the television console. By incorporating domestic objects, and even his own mother, into his works and making them appear abject, he aims to reveal suburbia’s seamy underbelly. Inspired by Lynda Benglis, Melee is known for pouring garishly colored paint over his figures and objects, and for the marbleized surfaces of his re-created home interiors, which express the neuroses animating home life.

American, b. 1966, based in New York & Asbury Park, NJ

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