Ry Rocklen’s “House of Return” is a collection of found objects that have been transformed into sacred relics without ever leaving the realm of the pedestrian. A conglomeration of familiar if unsavory carpet tiles both sets and is the stage for four sculptures--each resting on its own colored octagon or rectangle--that more or less reference the domestic. Surrounding the tableau is “Light Health Medallion 2,” a giant necklace made up of a bracketed rope circling the walls overhead. Its medallion is a bamboo circle painted with pastel pie-triangles emanating from its center. The medallion conjures both teenage delusion and the West Coast answer to bling, and offers a solid visual counterbalance to the otherwise static floor sculptures. “Rise” is the strongest among these: a found mattress-turned-mosaic, it’s bent at its center and arched as if rising from a nap, or otherwise making its presence known before being escorted to the dumpster. “Hooded” is a found sweatshirt flattened by way of resin, copper and nickel plating. It’s reminiscent of Richard Serra’s lead and Linda Benglis’ latex pours, but for Rocklen, the silvery color is only the finish, the surface of an otherwise frail core.
Published courtesy of ArtScene ©2009