Los Angeles

Luciano Perna

Bennett Roberts Fine Art

A member of the Toy Train Operating Society, Luciano Perna hung his framed certificate over a setup guaranteed to make fellow model-train enthusiasts either swoon or vomit. While most hobbyists yearn for an ordered miniature world, Perna, with the help of 72 artist friends, prefers the chaotic. His recent installation, Occupato, 1995, mapped a nightmarish terrain that was full of clever asides and images of urban blight.

Three horizontal surfaces of varying heights—including a ping-pong table, a glass basketball backboard, and a circa 1956 Saarinen-designed, tulip-style pedestal table—sprawled across the gallery. 0-scale train tracks linked the disparate supports, ran along the floor, and on an elevated dead-end segment of track. The train itself took different routes each day. When I visited, it chugged only on the central level, bypassing many of the works and leaving them strangely

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