Peek through the window. A hardworking cook is ready to serve. Freedman Fitzpatrick is pleased to present their inaugural exhibition at 8 Rue Saint- Bon, Fooding, by Matthew Lutz-Kinoy. Snatching drawings of sexy chefs by Jean Cocteau from the pages of a book, Lutz-Kinoy’s enlarged adapta- tions point to the intimate connection between the sexy body, the hungry body, and the political body.
Food is a driving force in the global economy. The outward significance of the individual choices we make to satiate our appetites has never been so loaded, so inextricably linked to one’s political predilections. To know the origin of one’s food, and to patron establishments which emphasize the value of farm to table relationships, is to identify with, and participate in, a fight for accountable socio-economic bonds and a clean environ- ment. It is a position tied to the fight for equal relationships between individuals. Lutz-Kinoy’s entwinement of homo-erotic bodies with food politics points to the intimate details sewn into politicized questions. Food politics is food sex.
Ceramics caught between decorative object and dish-ware lead you back to the intercourse. Yet these ceramics are hung on simple wooden pegs inspired by the Shakers, an ill-fated 19th Century American religious commune that prohibited sexual contact. In his ceramics, Lutz-Kinoy abandons formal dictates by privileging organic non-uniform curves to produce his inverted bowl-like masks and plates. In pairing Shaker posts with his ceramics, Lutz-Kinoy winks at the complexity of positioning minimal stoicism and baroque disorder side by side.
At the start of the 17th century frustrated artists shattered the classical conventions of Mannerism. Several decades later, their sumptuously thick desk legs, shadowy paintings, and gilded ornaments earned the title of Baroque, derived from, “Barocco”, the Portuguese word for “broken” or “disorderly”. Though Baroque became an arm of 17th and 18th century authoritarianism, in our long milieu of minimalist compartmentalization, Baroque’s status as art history’s whipping boy for over the top poor taste has endeared it to aesthetics of disorder and ornamentation, such as punk and camp.
Stepping into the small gallery is to enter a petit wunderkammer of bejeweled mythical creatures. Small drawings of animals and a mermaid encrusted in pearls, inspired by Baroque’s perverse ornamentation, line the walls. These pearly creatures offer a portal to Lutz-Kinoy’s Toilette Goût, now on-view in his solo exhibition Southern Garden of Chateau Bellevue at Le Consortium in Dijon, an exhibition inspired by the Rococo painter, François Boucher. The painting breaks with compositional ground rules, and is defined by three distinct pictorial areas, one of which is occupied by enlarged versions of the drawings on view. Unlike studies, these drawings function as bite-sized keepsake facsimiles of another object rendered at a grand scale. Here Lutz-Kinoy plays with economies of scale to entwine his reference points, and to treat snippets of baroque ornamentation, food, and sexuality as synonyms for desire.