On view at Peter Blum's Soho space is California-born/Brooklyn-based artist Matthew Day Jackson's large-scale sculpture The Tomb. Jackson's work reinterprets the Tomb of Philippe Pot at the Louvre, "attributed to Antoine LeMoiturier" and "considered one of the masterpieces of the Burgundian style of the late 15th century," (from exhibit's press release).
For his version, Jackson substituted the monks in the original piece with astronauts made from "scraps of wood and plastic" which were "compressed into a block and cut with a CNC (computer numerical control) process." The eight hulking, cartoonish figures hoist a casket, made of glass and steel, containing a skeleton based on the artist's body. The skeleton's hands and feet were cast from Jackson's own, or are represented with tool handles, and other parts of the figure were composed from "biomedical prototypes, various industrial materials, and found wood." A mirror placed on the top of the casket facing the skeleton reflects both Jackson's boney doppelganger and the viewer looking up from below. As the press release states, The Tomb "explores the interconnectivity of disparate forms and narratives" and also addresses the artist's theory of the "Horriful"—Jackson's "belief that everything one does has the potential to evoke both beauty and horror at the same time."
The massive work feels almost celebratory and the pallbearer astronauts could possibly be marching in a parade rather than a funeral procession. The piece is like throwing a funeral for yourself when you're still alive and kicking—may as well enjoy and appreciate it while you're still around. The Tomb is on view concurrently with another exhibit of Jackson's work, In Search of, at Peter Blum's Chelsea space. Learn more at Peterblumgallery.com. Through November 13th.