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A Monthly Culture Matrix For the Cosmopolitan Traveler

Simon Denny: Security Through Obscurity

Altman Siegel Gallery / San Francisco / Art

The Berlin-based contemporary artist Simon Denny, who follows technology and the world economy, came of age in New Zealand when Margaret Thatcher still presided over the former British colony. So it was only a matter of time before Denny incorporated the matriarch of trickle-down economics into his work, and where better to show that work than in San Francisco, a hub that sees tech billionaires swanning alongside 8,000-plus homeless people? Making inequality its subject, Denny’s first solo show repurposes Thatcher’s silk scarf collection—he purchased it anonymously at auction at Christie’s last spring—as Patagonia sleeping bags (once associated with camping, now with homeless encampments) and Nano Puff vests, a favorite of tech and finance types. “Aesthetically, Thatcher’s scarves are quite varied,” Denny tells AIR MAIL, “ranging from patterns of Forbes magazine covers with ‘Capitalist Tool’ printed on them, to what seem to be diplomatic gifts, to Liberties of London. One often-used scarf with a jewel graphic by Chanel retains visible traces of Thatcher’s make-up. When collaged together in the sculptures that make up the exhibition, the political symbol of Neoliberal globalism that Thatcher represents can be seen reflected in these patterns.” —J.V.

Altman Siegel Gallery 1150 25th St, San Francisco, CA 94107, United States
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