Love Chief is an exhibition which plays with the idea
of the personality of art. This illusive character in art is not
about its representation of the human face or form entirely, but
its spunk, intrigue and allure. It asks how we can translate the
qualities of art using our own terms, in the same way that we try
to ascertain human personality using our tools of perception as
well as cultural context.
Love Chief includes some of the magnetic works from the
international contemporary art collections of the Auckland Art
Gallery. The title itself is taken from Ed Ruscha's 1986 painting,
which lights up the text against a gridded night sky as an
advertisement or enticement for emotion and character. The painting
is imbued with some of the mysteries of Pop Art, that is, how can
we translate non-substantive human ideas and values through the
formal means around us particularly those of an industrialised
commercial world. The words sit uncomfortably in painted neon, like
a personal note in a heartless medium.
Ultimately, you the viewer also determine the character of the
exhibition Love Chief, in all the same way that you might
gravitate towards a stranger you would like to get to know!