I Love You, 2007
Used plastic shopping bags in 9 colors mounted on 9 panels
This exhibition…Melanie Crader, Matthew Deleget, Mick Johnson & Rossana Martinez
Gallery Sonja Roesch, Houston, TX, 2007
Gallery Sonja Roesch, Houston, TX, 2009
This exhibition… was a collaborative four-person project with artists Melanie Crader, Mick Johnson, and Rossana Martinez. We collectively conceived of the exhibition as a series of layered projects. We each contributed one individual work. Rossana and I collaborated on one additional work, as did Mick and Melanie. And then the four of us collectively installed the works in the exhibition as a single installation.
My contribution was I Love You, which was inspired by The Beatles song All Together Now (also, a humorous reference to collaboration). In the song, Paul McCartney sings the lines, “black, white, green, red — can I take my friend to bed? — pink, brown, yellow, orange, blue — I love you.” I am interested in these kinds of ‘found’ aesthetic references, a form of social abstraction. Why is McCartney singing the names of colors? Why does the Department of Homeland Security use a color system to rate the threat of a terrorist attack?
In my work I quoted McCartney directly and mounted plastic shopping bags on nine panels, one in each color and installed in the order found in the song. The bags were also found objects, obtained when I purchased stuff at bodegas and other local shops in NYC. I didn’t really fuss over the exact color of the bags — red was red, blue was blue, and so on. By using the shopping bags, I Love You really became a piece critical of consumerism and how it is often associated with deep, profound emotion, such as love.