ART VILLAGE 1988
DIX 10 Coffres Forts & Co
76 E 7th St 1/21‑2/20
French punk art is alive and kicking as evidence by this playful exhibit by DIX 10. Two French artists who refer to themselves as JJ Dow Jones and Roma Napoli. DIX10 have created a group of paintings of safes on glass. Executed in a mannered expressionistic style of black, white and grey tones, they are painted on panes of glass that have been shattered and sandwiched between other panes of glass. They chose safes as their theme because safes are often behind paintings. The paintings sell for the price of the actual safes. Stenciled logos of DIX 10 line the lower walls.
Like a French version of graffiti, this work is casual and unpretentious. Scooping familiar conceptual and pop art strategies, DIX 10 have created all manner of stores in which they sell replicas of the real. In Paris they created a supermarket in which they sold cardboard copies of supermarket items for what the actual items cost. They have expanded this idea to cover carpets in Milan, a sex shop in Berlin, a flower shop in Nice, ceramics in St. Paul de Vence and a toy store in Paris. They also produced the « Inestimable Arts Works » show in which their copy of the Mona Lisa we priced at eight million dollars. Their most amusing affordable art idea is the selling of their work in vending machines throughout Paris for five francs a piece. As one would imagine their volume of sales is tremendous: 8,000 works sold in 14 European shows. Aside from the lack of preciousness, the spirit of this work is appeafing as it is, whimsically taking aim at art‑world structures while throwing a side‑long glance at the art of the moment that thrives on simulation while retaining claims of specialness.