New Exhibit: Lady Madonna
Why do we have songs in our heads that we don’t want there? Blame the media, and then take in a new Stedman Gallery exhibit that examines the national infatuation with media saturation.
In the tradition of Andy Warhol, who called celebrity “the mythology of America,” Prof. Allan Espiritu, assistant professor of art, draws on the striking parallels between mass marketing and converting the masses in Lady Madonna: Over and Over, now on display at the Rutgers-Camden Center for the Arts.
Reasoning that the “Material Girl” herself is an ideal candidate for demonstrating the similarities between celebrity and religious iconography, Espiritu extracts a handful of lines from Madonna‘s popular songs and magnifies them using distinct typography set on multi-colored fluorescent backgrounds that are enlarged to extreme proportions.
The result is a media circus, where viewers will be guessing to place the featured lyrics, with the original song. If it sounds convoluted, well, that’s the point.
Espiritu hopes that this tension will convey on a small scale how the media controls what we know and how we know it. His project, which began while earning his MFA in graphic design at Yale University, prods at the psychology of media as well as grapples with what constitutes art.
“I’m a graphic designer by trade, so I am a part of this machine. These works allow me to be critical of what I do and what I send into the marketplace,” says Espiritu.
One of the works in the exhibit is called You Got the Power with lyrics taken from Cherish
Lady Madonna: Over and Over is on display at the Stedman Gallery New Jersey through March 27.
Source: Haddon Herald