On a warm early July evening, Popps Packing and Emporium presented two artists riffing on summertime escapism through neon-bright palettes and fake palm artifice.
Popps Packing Summer Artist Resident Allison Baker hosted an open studio exhibition of mostly free-form sculpture exploding with color and drooping as if from midwestern humidity. The work is so evocative that one could go on creating metaphors for days: cotton candy piñata trees, ice cream cake pool floats, sparkling roasted marshmallow goo. A few figurative pieces sit in unexpected ways in the non-cube space, such as a pair of fabricated “underwear” casually placed on a couch. Jeff Koons’s slick surfaces and obvious references seem unimaginative appropriation in comparison. It will be interesting to see if Baker will produce all-seasonal work going forward.
At Popps Emporium, Jova Lynne’s five-week exhibition “Paradise Travel Company” takes on the business of South Atlantic/Carribbean Sea tourism. Visitors enter a travel agency featuring Lynne in a bright orange suit jacket working with “clients” to create personalized travel experiences. There are staged photos with prominent island signifiers on sandy beaches, and a large color portrait behind the desk of a smiling Lynne making you want to just go go go! She is thoroughly engaging in her travel agent persona, and the office decor declares that paradise can be anywhere, even in Popps’ unfinished Emporium. Lynne’s written statement implicates tourism as “contemporary colonialism” – visual hints of this would serve her message without sacrificing the peach daiquiri promise.
Melanie Manos, Detroit Editor
Letters Volume 33.no.1 September / October 2018 p 28
Allison Baker, Open Studio Exhibition
July 7, 2018, Popps Packing, 12138 Saint Aubin, Hamtramck, MI 48212
Jova Lynne, Paradise Travel Company, July 7 – August 11, 2018, Popps Emporium, 2025 Carpenter St, Detroit, Michigan 48212