Works by Bob Szantyr
Auxiliary Projects is pleased to present Stand in the Place where You Live, an online showcase of small-scale epoxy resin sculptures by Bob Szantyr, available for viewing and sale online. Watch for an exhibition of his work in our physical gallery in the unforeseeable future of the early 2020s.
Szantyr’s work has long focused on the domestic sphere, concerned with both the sentimentality of the home’s contents and its foundational values of safety, stability, containment, and separation. During our era of plague and lockdown the virtues and comforts of our domiciles are heightened, while the home’s capacity to contain us can be fraught and claustrophobic. If we can find something within our four walls to entertain or inspire us anew then it is a very good day, and by this measure Szantyr seems to have many good days.
Szantyr’s Pyramids series feature common and uncommon found objects encapsulated in resin, echoing the way we encase ourselves and our contested aerosols within our homes and pods. Home is always defined by the boundary between inside and outside, and what better way to make sure inside is pure than removing all corrupting air?
All the works in this selection riff on the physical structure of a pyramid and its ability to visually fragment, distort and refract our perception, but their subjects function in varying and overlapping conceptual ways. Some of the works throw up barriers between us and common household objects, forcing us to pay close attention to the often ignored. In “Cristals,” the dependable functionality of Bic Cristal pens is rendered non-functional, emphasizing the pens’ haute design. “Relic (Red)” removes the tobacco from a cigarette and places it in a vial; neither it nor its companion ashtray are fully encased in resin, but each is nonetheless un-usable. “Window Unit” similarly blocks its buttons from our fingers, leaving us to contemplate the remote control as an object that, in normal times, allows us to be further away from other objects in our homes. In “Charlie on 28th between 5th and Broadway” and “Dorothy . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . JUDY GARLAND,” Szantyr makes physical the tendency of nostalgia to entomb its subjects. Fandom is a related theme, with both “Untitled (With Michael Stipe Singing the Words “I’ve Got My Spine, I’ve Got My Orange Crush” in the other room” and “Diana, Princess of Wales and Me” encasing the objects of our adulation as though in amber.
Szantyr’s pyramids sever our attachments to the comforting objects around us and create new talismans in the space left behind. In their presence we are like teenagers exploring the local new age shop (in our neighborhood it is the “Starhawk Design Studio”) in the hope of using crystals to “manifest something” in their lives. Szantyr’s crystals give us a portal–not to trippy alternative realms–but right back to where we started, with new eyes.