Yoskay Yamamoto opened his newest solo, ‘Joke’s on Me‘, on Saturday evening at LeBasse Projects Chinatown. His first all-sculpture show featurs a large collection of pieces ranging from interpretations of pop culture toys including Hello Kitty and the Jolly Green Giant Jr. as well as numerous original pieces including his popular wall-mounted mask pieces, porcelain-styled character pieces with delicate blue line work and more. While the sculptures are quite impressive, alternating between fun and reflective, the large wall-mounted installation is the runaway highlight of the show.
If you have had the pleasure of seeing one of the artists’ previous installations be it of the suspended sea of his signature floating heads variety, or the curio style wall-mounted pieces combining wood compartments with wondrous small figures and tiny painted elements, this new all-encompassing piece which stretches almost the full length of the gallery’s backwall is the ultimate culmination of all that has come before. Fit for a museum, the installation offers a serene night sky of interlaced painted wood panels with abstract patterns evoking lights, stars, and the heavens. A closer look reveals tiny treasures — his signature half-faces, small bat-like creatures as well as an intricate flower in folded inky blue paper. Finally, a constellation of Yoskay’s conical face sculptures floats, sways, and turns just in front of the expansive piece. The tightly coherent effort, is breathtaking both in its presence, beauty, and ambience as well as the serenity it instills in viewers despite its tremendous dimensions.