Devin Troy Strothers’ “Space Jam” Exhibition Will Make You Nostalgic for the Mid ’90s

Fans of the 1996 movie Space Jam are going to want to check out Devin Troy Strothers’ newest exhibition of the same name at the Marlborough Chelsea. The Los Angeles-based artist was inspired by the film starring Michael Jordan and Looney Tunes characters to fill the gallery space with three different floors: two replicating proper basketball courts, and one of bowling-alley style outer-space-themed carpet.

The artist’s paintings and sculptures challenge stereotypes we have about sports, and point to pop culture. In doing so Strother explores the idea of basketball as an aesthetic and not necessarily as a sport or form of entertainment. Important symbols we associate with professional leagues and athletes like hats and trading cards with hologram stickers, stadium flags, and souvenir cups have been taken away from the courts and imparted onto Strothers’ paintings.

There’s also an allusion to space that Strothers explores. Gradients in the paintings reference Jordan’s limbo state in the film, a human thrust into the intergalactic world of cartoon aliens; the feeling of the unknown and darkness are ever present.

The title of each piece appears under each painting with Strothers’ name side by side with artists who have influenced his work. Throughout the exhibition he references contemporary artists Rob Pruitt, Cory Arcangel, and Lynda Benglis; and historical painters Barnett Newman, Joan Miro, and Jackson Pollock.

Strothers’ Space Jam is full of humor with its witty throwbacks to pop culture in the early ’90s and doesn’t shy away from the slightly outrageous.

To get your fix of ’90s nostalgia you can see the exhibition from January 10 to February 14 at the Marlborough Chelsea.

 

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