Lincoln’s Bedroom At C24 Gallery
Art Installation Review
I stumbled on an intriguing artist at the C24 gallery in Chelsea. Skylar Fein is based in New Orleans and re-crafts American culture and history bended through the prism of his imagination. Magazine stands, medicine cabinets, secret languages are his staples. Recently he had ventured to build and install in the C24 an impressionistic and slightly hallucinatory re-creation of Lincoln’s bedroom. A bedroom he shared with a roommate for few years. It seems they had had the same interests around the same time. What interests were those, is widely speculated from the firm historians to the artist himself. What Fein achieves here is to tell a story without a story, employing only the means to tell a story. Stringing them like beats in to a beautiful necklace.
Walk up the stairs above the Speed shop and enter the bedroom. Music from the period helps transport you back. Smells like hey and tobacco. The furnishing and décor are timely and just rusty enough. Visitors are encouraged to sit on the bed and try on the boots. The room is fluid with writing station, cooking pans and utensils, clothes, washing pots. It feels as if Lincoln will return any moment from a thoughtful stroll. A sign reads that Lincoln and Speed shared the room not by necessity but by choice. Leaving the past, the visitor is still surrounded by Fein’s crafty parallel reality. I giant newsstand with double sided prints of imaginary magazines on artistic-masculine topics is a favorite. A medicine cabinet with a neatly separated list of men and women ills and recipes to fix them bridges past and modern.
Fein certainly doesn’t follow a recipe or advice. Advice doesn’t work anyway. Experience does! And he seems to have plenty of it both, hands on and with the old books. For his works come from a profound almost tearing purity of rebellion. Passively aggressive approach to what matters. He carefully polishes the dusty corners of history and culture. He is in charge of a lucid niche universe the way the navy is in charge of the nations’ clocks (precise atomic time that is). In the world of the good and the bad Fein is the wicked. Thank you Dr. Eton Moorcock (the seller of snake oil, home remedies, farmers’ almanacs and such a.k.a Fein’s alter ego present through out the installation).
more by MILEN VASILEV
As originally published on December 24, 2013 by Luxurious Prototype – Lincoln’s Bedroom at C24 Gallery