Aaron Young
13 Nov – 20 Dec 2008


Aaron Young, Punchline, Installation view, Bortolami, New York, NY, 2008

Bortolami is pleased to present an exhibition of new work by Aaron Young, an installation in which he invites the viewer into a participatory space constructed within the gallery. Creating a tension by the unexplained need for participation, the artist passively teases the viewer to take the required action. The action, if taken, results in a surprising optical assault.

Young plays with contemporary social issues such as the economy, globalism, and socio- economic disparities by using popular iconography and interactive performance. He has created site – specific bronze sculpture in the forms of rocks with graffiti tags sprayed across them, broken police lines and skateboard-grinded street curbs. He has staged participatory performances in different urban neighborhoods where he chains various bike parts to street posts which eventually, as the parts get stolen, begin to disappear. Following his interest in urban culture and Fluxus intervention in everyday space, Young made a series of sculptures of battered steel chainlink fence, dipped in 24 karat gold before being installed in a manner where the viewer has to squeeze through the work in order to view the full exhibition. Also, he orchestrated a series of three performances, one at the 7th Regiment Armory here in New York City, one in Moscow’s Red October factory, and the last one, just a month ago, on the active volcano Solfatara in Naples. During the performance, the audience witnesses motorcyclists riding over painted black panels, burning off the surface layer with their tires, revealing the color underneath, and thus creating true ‘action paintings’.