The Relationship Show at DC’s Transformer Gallery

Submarine
Solomon Sanchez���s “Submarine” Photo by Lucy Lightning

The Relationship Show at the Transformer Gallery houses a money-filled safe, a submarine in a sea of weave, a colorful party painting, and a large phallus mounted on the white walls. The show examines the relationships between the individual and society, others, and self through a multimedia exhibit showcasing three local artists; Nilay Lawson, Breck Brunson, and Solomon Sanchez. Brunson���s altered version of Heatwave���s R&B classic “Always and Forever” provides the soundtrack to the exhibition, slowed down one thousand times so the six-minute song lasts an hour, seemingly, but certainly not forever.

���It���s a conceptual show rather than just art for sale,��� said Lawson at the crowded Saturday, January 28 opening reception. The exhibit gives a sample of the works of the three emerging artists, each of whom brings their own style and comments on relationships. Lawson���s Spite Night is the sole painting in the gallery, a colorful piece depicting a bird���s eye view of a party where each character is spiting someone else at the gathering. Lawson describes that the drinkers are spiting their livers, the smokers are spiting their lungs, the man locked in his quiet room masturbating is spiting the party, and several other characters���some based on people she knows���are spiting each other. The painting is somewhat cartoonish with blocks of color, little use of shading for perspective, and detailed renderings of the people and the floors and walls of the house.

Nilay Lawson���s other piece, 14-Inch Diamond Tip, on the opposite wall is another focal point of the show. A large, beige phallus with a crystal doorknob attached to the tip, she describes as using ���cheap materials to construct a mythical object.��� She says she aimed the sculpture at girls who strive to get both girth and money and she���s ���letting them know I���m onto them.���

Solomon Sanchez���s sculpture of a safe filled with handcrafted green blocks of money sits lower to the floor in the corner of the small square room while his site-specific installation of a white submarine sailing through a sea of hair brown and blonde hair extensions welcomes the patrons into the gallery. The submarine is painted white and is a very simplistic rendering
of such a complex machine that seems to be sinking in the ocean of prosthetic hair. At first glance, it is mechanical meeting organic, but examining it more closely as a machine meeting artificially constructed human hair, the relationship isn���t as simple as it would appear. And that is the running theme of the exhibition, a minimalist style, uncomplicated, straightforward pieces with far more complex meanings like the artists are saying that although relationships appear simple, there is far more than meets the eye.

The Relationship Show runs until March 4, and there will be an artist talk on February 18 at 4 PM. The Transformer Gallery is located at 1404 P. St. in Logan���s Circle.

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