Paul Horn

Texas Gallery

For his solo debut exhibition, “Death Metal 2000: Prehistoria,” Houston-based artist Paul Horn spray painted a child’s plastic playhouse in gold, dusting its roof with powdery glitter to create an air of fantasy and wonder. Inside the structure, which sat on an island of Astroturf, a golden skeleton lay sprawled on the floor, and a stack of gilded skulls filled the sink. Plastic Snoopys, robots, and other action figures lined the interior walls, and surrounding the playhouse were assemblages built from Power Wheels, plastic cars big enough for kids to sit in and “drive.” Elsewhere, cardboard boxes painted white served as pedestals for stacks of old suitcases filled with tiny skateboards, fake hamburgers, and other novelty items. Here was art ready to make a move.

Horn’s low-budget, carny-flavored sculptural hybrids embody a charming yet emotionally crossed-wire version of plastic’s afterlife.

to keep reading

Artforum print subscribers have full access to this article. If you are a subscriber, sign in below.

Not registered for artforum.com? Register here.

SUBSCRIBE NOW for only $50 a year—65% off the newsstand price—and receive the print magazine plus full online access to this issue and our archive.*

Order the PRINT EDITION of the January 2003 issue for $17 or the ONLINE EDITION for $5.99.

* This rate applies to U.S. domestic subscriptions.