Opening on November 10th, 2011 is Chista Joo Hyun D’Angelo: Proof of Purchase at Arts & Sciences PROJECTS in New York. This is the artists first solo exhibition in New York. I met Christa this summer while in Berlin. Originally from New York by way of Korea, she is currently based in Berlin and has been for several years. Her work centers around collage, utilizing everything from found images to pages taken (or rather deconstructed) directly from a book. For Proof of Purchase, she has chosen to make work that is a direct commentary on the availability of knock-offs and fake labelled goods in New York’s Chinatown, specifically on Canal Street.

Everything from designer perfume to high-end handbags fill the tiny shops that line the street running perpendicular on the island of Manhattan. Times have changed however and whereas most goods were once visibly apparent to the passerby, now employees or hired hands of the shops will walk by murmuring “Handbags, handbags” and if you show interest, they will take you up a staircase and into a small, musty room hidden away from street level.

Glitz, glam, the abundance of wealth and commerciality dominate the content of several of Miss D’Angelo’s series. While in Berlin, I did a studio visit with her and we had the opportunity to speak about the process of making work in a specific place. After leaving New York for art school in Baltimore, Maryland then transferring to University in Krakow, Poland the artist eventually migrated to Berlin. I couldn’t help but wonder about the confluence of time, a portal or passageway stretching in between one cultural dichotomy to another. For the exhibit at Arts & Sciences PROJECTSshe returns to the city of her childhood bringing with her work made in Berlin containing images and text that are specific however diverse as the popular German capital. Interwoven between layers of affixed, torn and cut paper is a constructed narrative . The story is glossy and ripe with social commentary. There will be a scent at the gallery for the duration of the exhibition, a strong perfume that is worn mostly by the rich. However it won’t be detectable by the olfactory sense…this scent is visual and imagined based on the viewer’s own self-directed projection based on memory of context.

The gallery will become a pop-up boutique where everything is for sale including those present. Christa has manufactured a label of her own titled: Produit de la Verite. It proudly claims that all of it’s luxury goods are “ornately handcrafted by the youngest children in exotic foreign countries in the hottest of sweatshops, providing YOU with allure and the latest global trends from Produit De La Vérité” (from the Press Release).

A digital Look Book will be available giving viewers the chance to examine and shop for the latest products which we are lead to believe are already in high demand. In a city like New York and a consumer culture that has become a global phenomena, Proof of Purchase will not only offer commentary on our socially conditioned need to shop, but also offer each viewer the chance to be a participatory client in a boutique that in any other context, would be out of reach.
Christa Joo Hyun D’Angelo: Proof of Purchase will be on view at Arts & Sciences PROJECTS in New York from November 10th-December 11th, 2011.
All images courtesy of the Artist and Arts & Sciences PROJECTS, 2011.
More soon!