Mark Moore Fine Art is pleased to present “Staycation 2019,” the gallery’s third solo show from Texas-based art collective Okay Mountain. Parodying the American tradition of stay-at-home vacations and the consumerist promises of an escape from the mundane, the nine-member group has created a series photographic works, an installation, and a sound collage for the exhibition.
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Formed in 2006 as an artist-run alternative gallery space, Okay Mountain has since gone on to create installations and multi media assemblages that riff on the American reverence for commerce. Repackaging our consumerist desires with a sardonic edge, the installations mimic the stock vernacular of our communal materialism, yet tweak them just enough to reveal our superficial insecurities and convictions.
In “Staycation 2019” the group plays on the iconography of the Zen Garden, as seen through the eyes of western popular culture. Creating a purposely-mediated experience of “Zen,” the installation poses as a pre-packaged version of what could have been a meaningful experience, if the consumer had bothered to leave the house. Like the screensaver images of peaceful monuments floating across a laptop, the imagery plays on a desire for escape, but also immediacy—one desire ruling out the other. The result is a razor sharp wit interpretation of a very American mixture of banality and good intentions — an eagerness for a respite from the mundane, without the will to see it through.
While most artists in Okay Mountain are alumni of the University of Texas at Austin (TX), others are graduates of University of California Los Angeles (CA), Rhode Island School of Design (RI), and the University of Kansas (KS). Institutional exhibitions have included those at the Blaffer Art Museum at the University of Houston (TX), Austin Museum of Art (TX), McNay Art Museum (TX), Arthouse (TX), University of Tennessee, Chattanooga (TN), and the deCordova Sculpture Park and Museum (MA). Their work is included in the permanent collection of the Wadsworth Atheneum Museum of Art (CT), McNay Museum of Art (TX), Orange County Museum of Art (CA), Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego (CA), Santa Barabara Museum of Art (CA), and Vanderbilt University (TN).
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