Critics’ Picks

Camille Blatrix, Eyes, 2017, dyed resin, steel, paper, 4 1/2 x 2 x 1 1/4"

Camille Blatrix, Eyes, 2017, dyed resin, steel, paper, 4 1/2 x 2 x 1 1/4"

Los Angeles

Camille Blatrix

Bad Reputation
2007 Wilshire Blvd Suite 729
May 21–July 8, 2017

The three small dyed-resin and metal sculptures that anchor Camille Blatrix’s current exhibition call to mind the injection-molded parts that find their way into modern households as light switches, plugs, or routers. But each of the artist’s sculptures, no bigger than an average hand, imbues these anonymous forms with emotional intensity via the care of his elaborate dye treatments and the memento stuffed in each ersatz device—a ticket stub, a note, or a plastic flower.

Facing the three mounted totems is a framed poster, Unview 2008/18 (all works 2017), in which a pixelated ink-jet print depicting a cap-wearing figure with crossed arms is overlaid with a three-part pie chart. Its colors correspond to those of the sculptures: rose (Skin), ultramarine (Blood), and purple (Eyes). Between the unlabeled chart (about which the press release notes only that it corresponds to an unspecified “election result”) and the portentous titles of the wall sculptures, there is a sense of pent-up energy. The metal pins near the top of each of these canisters go a step further, suggesting an explosive end.

By infusing sentiment and danger into forms that also evoke standard throwaway consumables, Blatrix’s combustible trinkets speak to a fundamental contradiction in commercial values: mass-produced products made of similar materials become desirable by representing a chance to be unique or express personal feelings. Take the perfume bottle, for instance, another vial with a pin. Along a hundred duty-free-shop shelves, year after year, row after row: “Obsession.”