Magazine article Artforum International

Kaz Oshiro: Steven Wolf Fine Arts

Magazine article Artforum International

Kaz Oshiro: Steven Wolf Fine Arts

Article excerpt

DRUM MACHINES HAVE NO SOUL reads a bumper sticker duct-taped to the side of what appears to be a small Fender guitar amp. That sentiment, characteristic of classic rock, expresses a yearning for authenticity that is also at the heart of Kaz Oshiro's meticulous sculptural practice. Using Bondo (an auto-body repair filler), canvas stretched over wooden frameworks, and acrylic paint, the Japanese-born, Los Angeles-based artist crafts convincing facsimiles of ordinary objects. The amplifier is one such fake--a peek at its backside reveals an unfinished interior, the seam of the canvas stapled haphazardly to the support. Here, then, an act of technical finesse is applied to an ordinary-looking device that's used to make one's point heard.

In his San Francisco debut, Oshiro showed just five works, and the show's spare installation made the gallery feel more like a severely underfurnished warehouse loft than an exhibition space. The lonely Fender Vibro Champ #3, 2006, was placed in the middle of the room, while in one corner stood an unassuming stack of small white speakers, Bose Entertainment Sound System, 2002. The hot pink Trash Bin #9, 2005, which looked as if it had been salvaged from a Wendy's dining room, nearly abutted a pillar, leaving just enough room to peer at its back and see its artificiality. Shiny cola-colored stains pooled on the top of the sculpture helped to make it so believable that guests attempted to dump plastic cups into it at the opening reception, adding a few extra scuffs. …

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