Eric Yahnker: Naughty Teens/Garbanzo Beans
With his keen eye for pop culture and irreverent humor, Eric Yahnker's current exhibition of highly-detailed pencil drawings and conceptual sculptures at Ambach & Rice Gallery taps into a zeitgeist also seen in the work of contemporaries like Mathew Cerletty and Karl Haendel. Posing as a serious act, it's a wink-wink-nudge-nudge approach that's unabashedly "now," sharing a sensibility with Leslie Nielsen in "Airplane" and, in Yahnker's case, junior high-age boys everywhere.
Titles—like "War & Piece Of Ass," pictured below—are deliberately unsubtle nods that create tension between surface and subtext. His "arty" interpretations of advertising, pornography, etc. make them accessible to the masses and collectors alike.
His "endurance" works, such as "Analogous To The Fall of That One Empire (Moby Dick), " which dissects the pages into individual characters arranged in piles, as well as the ghostly outline of a shirt that Yahnker made by deconstructing it thread by thread, are meditations that use the OCD process to single out the cultural significance of the pop culture artifacts.
By treating his exhibition as a unified piece, in which each of the works encourages conversation with another, they can be read as heroic one-liners or, on closer look, they reveal a multitude of associations, both academic and otherwise.
See more of Eric Yahnker's work after the jump.