Sam Stewart - Cryptid
Fort Gansevoort is pleased to announce Sam Stewart’s first solo exhibition, Cryptid opening February 15th, 2018. Stewart’s work, which traffics in thevocabulary of high-production furniture design, conveys twisted narrativesthrough the act of obsessive world making. Exploring the perverse desires and sincere emotions that we project ontothe things we own, his sculptures subvert the intended use of theitems they resemble, and instead operate assymbolic totems. They are hybrids—simultaneously personal and anonymous, excessively bespoke and eerilyubiquitous.
The exhibition will take place on the second floor of a townhouse located at 3 Ninth Avenue, located directly nextdoor to Fort Gansevoort and will be by appointment only. Zoned for residential use, the space is required by theDepartment of Buildingsto include a shower in the bathroom, a sleeping surface, and a working kitchen amongother prerequisites for daily living. Reflecting on thesecodesand their distinctions from commercial space, Stewarthas created a series of objects that imagine the personal affects of a mythical occupant.
Modeled on fabled humanoid characters like Bigfoot or the Yeti, whose existence is unsubstantiated to the present, Stewart’s cryptid belongs to folklore and science fiction as well as everyday forms of self-generated mythology,such as data-driven consumer branding. From burled maple veneer and carbonized wood to white leather and chrome, his materials areimbuedwith mixed visual references: Appalachian folk craft of his childhood home, rustic luxury vacation lodges of Telluride, exotic cars, meat manufacturing facilities, and gym culture or the body industry,among others. The sculptures suggest real things that serve regular patterns of domestic life, such as sleeping, eating,and exercising. Through his synthesis of disparate aesthetic tropes, accidental uses of household objects, and their psychological associations, Stewart considers how, through successive rationalizations, mythologies gain momentum and permanence. It is through the telling and modification of stories over time, to where it doesn't evenbelong to anyone or any event—is it fact? truth?—that thecryptid is given life.