"...in evil hour thou didst give eare
To that false Worm, of whomsoever taught
To counterfet Mans voice, true in our Fall,
False in our promis'd Rising; since our Eyes
Op'nd we find indeed, and find we know
Both Good and Evil, Good lost, and Evil got..."
Not to beat a dead horse or anything but alas, Brooklyn based artist Vincent Como is up to his old tricks again. You remember Como?... The guy who works in black only! Well, Como has recently installed a series of lofty paintings at Minus Space that are (loosely) based on Milton's Paradise Lost. The works in this series are -of course- Como's signature black paintings but with the added gimmick of shelves that are installed below each painting; on the shelves are rows of black drip candles that burn for the duration of the installation. Como sees this as a "challenge [to] the viewer’s sense of history, memory, evolution, and transcendence"
I wrote a Como review at the start of this year and this recent exhibition is a glaring confirmation of the crux of the article in which I summed up Como's process... in one word: unoriginal
Como's "new" Paradise Lost is reminiscent of a work done by Spencer Finch in 2009 (an artist who I am told Como admires and has even collected) …even the use of a literary reference is similar.
366 (EMILY DICKINSON’S MIRACULOUS YEAR)
This work is based on the year 1862, Emily Dickinson’s annus mirabilis, when she wrote an amazing 366 poems in 365 days. It is a real-time memorial to that year, which burns for exactly one year. The sculpture is comprised of 366 individual candles arranged in linear sequence, each of which burns for 24 hours. The color of each candle matches a color mentioned in the corresponding poem; poems in which no color is mentioned are made out of natural paraffin.