Kai Matsumiya invites you to “Joker’s Solitaire” by Z Behl, from Thursday, January 22nd through March 8th. Oversized playing cards of 52 fully-exposed nude men and 2 cards of herself as the joker (15” x 23” each) will be displayed in the front exhibition space on green felt.
The cards are comprised of photographs printed on three types of tissue and mounted on wooden boards with a handmade silkscreen pattern on reverse. The front side of the works show men who range across all age groups, ethnicities, sexual orientations and occupational backgrounds, willingly and enthusiastically posing to be documented. Many of these men are close friends of the artist.
The back side of the works depict a pattern that references standard card back motifs with a prominent “female eye” at the center. These works will be presented in varying game-sequences and aesthetic possibilities; for example “pairs”, “three of a kind”, “full house”, house-of-cards, and so on.
Another room introduces a film component of Joker’s Solitaire. The artist, dressed as the joker, plays solitaire, a one person game, carrying and placing the oversized cards on a green felt floor.
Finally, the back room encourages guests to play with standard size playing card versions of the artworks on a card table. 500 of these decks will be available to the public upon request.
The artist Z Behl (b. 1985) was born and raised in New York City. Her vibrant installations have been exhibited at 7ELEVEN Gallery in New York, The Contemporary Art Center in New Orleans, and ArteBA in Argentina. She was recently the recipient of a Pollock Krasner Foundation Grant, and Joan Mitchell Foundation Fellowship. She has been an artist-in-residence at the MOCA Tucson, PIONEER WORKS, and the ESKFF at Mana Contemporary. She graduated at Wesleyan University in 2007.