Art Shack

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June 13-October 3, 2010

Hi-Fructose said “a more enjoyable art show may be hard to find,” and OC Weekly called Art Shack “an art triumph not to be missed.” The Orange County Register thought “Art Shack is a hit…it’s an intriguing, interactive concept,” Artillery Magazine called it a “groundbreaking show,” and Juxtapoz Art and Culture Magazine insisted that you “get in the car and get yourself to Laguna Art Museum!”
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Artists combined art and architecture in Laguna Art Museum’s group exhibition Art Shack guest curated by Greg Escalante. Patrons immersed themselves in 30 different worlds created by artists such as Don Ed Hardy, Shag, George Herms, Paul Frank, Marion Peck, and Mark Ryden, among others. Art Shack wass presented by Hurley.
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Many shacks were enterable, and some included interactive components such as music and film. Don Ed Hardy’s Tat Cat Shack (Tattoo Hut) featured an activated tattoo machine; Jeff Gillette studied slums in India as the inspiration for his art shack; Marnie Weber’s shack featured a Super 8 film The Red Nurse and the Snowman; Mark Ryden and Marion Peck’s Sweet Wishes Theatre featured a short film viewable through peep holes; Craig Stecyk had a small shack on the roof of the Museum only visible through the security camera monitors; and George Herms was continually popping in at Laguna Art Museum to work on his assemblage installation Shack-Art-Grass-Circus.
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“In the last ten years we have noticed that many of the artists we have exhibited in the museum’s popular culture shows have made some type of ‘shack’,” said Laguna Art Museum Director Bolton Colburn. “We’ve worked with Greg Escalante on many of the museum’s pop culture exhibitions over the years and he brought forward the idea of gathering these art shacks together into a central exhibition that explicates the phenomenon.”
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Abandoning the rules of the art market and pressure to create saleable work, art shacks allowed the artists to create an experiential environment, narrowing the distinction between art and function, object and environment.
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Though few of us have any direct experience with living in shacks, they are at least present in our collective memory through post-apocalyptic films like District 9 or childhood games like MASH (Mansion-Apartment-Shack-House) that predict your future life and placement in social class. Along the West Coast, we’re quite familiar with surf shacks, date shacks, and Tiki-inspired shacks-romantic, boutique-like bungalows for the leisure visitor.
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However, architecturally, a shack is the lowest form of construction, meant to serve the most basic or immediate needs. By definition, a shack is a place of disrepair made of the most humble scrap materials like plywood, corrugated metal, and plastic. According to the United Nations, more than one billion people (one-sixth of the world’s population) live in slums-a settlement made of shacks.
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In every sense of the word, a shack is temporal. It even implies to the more humorous, subversive, and misbehaved-to “shack up”-or abandon social norms and “shack up in the mountains.”
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Ultimately, the artists in this exhibition aim to defy the norms of rules set against them, questioning the modes of mass production, social restrictions, and perhaps global capitalism.


The making of Art Shack. Video courtesy of Hurley.com.
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Laguna Art Museum “Art Shack
from Jeremy Asher Lynch on Vimeo.
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.Art Shack Opening Night Party. Video courtesy Michael Farmer Photography.
The pre-party was hosted by Hurley at their 225 store in Laguna Beach where Art Shack artists signed shirts, and designed shoes and clothes. Then everyone made their way up to the museum for the Opening Night Reception.
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Interview with Mike Shine about the conception and creation of his art shack.
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.Fun video of Michael C. McMillen’s Hideout.
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A movie trailer for the short documentary that chronicles the “Chicken Shack,” a living artwork that Art Shack artist Esteban Bojorquez maintained for almost a decade and which now serves as inspiration for his art shack on display at Laguna Art Museum.

Art Shack Artists

Kim AbelesKevin AncellBamboo BenSandow Birk and Elyse PignoletWolfgang BlochEsteban BojorquezMatthew CauseyThe Clayton Brothers Russell Crotty and Jed Lind

Albert Cuellar

Paul FrankGregg GibbsJeff GilletteDon Ed HardyLaurie HassoldGeorge HermsJason MaloneyElizabeth McGrathMichael C. McMillen

Marion Peck and Mark Ryden

Kenny ScharfJames P. ScottShagMike ShineSavanna SnowTravis SomervilleCraig StecykStanislav SzukalskiMarnie Weber

Martin Wittfooth

Art Shack was presented by:

Art Shack was generously supported by:
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Sunset Cove Villas, Laguna Beach

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