The Hole is proud to announce a solo exhibition of bronze sculptures by FriendsWithYou in an off-site location down in SoHo this November 17 to December 15. Part of ON CANAL, a major art initiative of 20+ storefronts on Canal Street in New York, this exhibition was specially designed to transform an old empty shop at the corner of Wooster and Canal into a serene sculpture garden.
Fourteen new bronze sculptures will debut in Playworks: Forever & Ever, FriendsWithYou’s first show in New York since their giant project at The Highline and the very first show when The Hole opened on the Bowery in 2011. These new works reimagine the artist duo’s favorite cartoons in this elevated medium, transforming the pop mythology from their childhoods into new classical iconography for the 21st century.
The artists have recast soft characters such as Hello Kitty and Gumby, often seen only as pixels or plushies, as eternal bronze sculptures, almost as maquettes for memorials or public statuary.
“As emotional objects, these new sculptures allow us to reimagine our childhood mythology and return us to a joyful, carefree state. The series offers a reflection of our world in its beauty as well as its ugly reality,” said FriendsWithYou.
Playworks reinterprets the iconic characters that have given shape to the language of pop culture, deforming and hybridizing them. These characters speak to viewers in a relatable way, while mixing reality and fantasy with a healthy dose of humor, idiosyncrasy, and fun. This series is an exciting departure from FriendsWithYou’s animation, inflatables, and other sculptures, and reflects their personal journey as it twists and shifts – a metamorphosis of meaning and learning that is cast in these works forever.