10.25.13 – 11.10.13
Friday, October 25
With Bali Ha’i, Michael Assiff’s new body of work continues to represent the flora and fauna of our natural world in green plastic. Certain paintings are inspired by an encounter with a littered Monster Energy Drink in the jungle of Costa Rica. Assiff investigates the graphic image of the claw mark (co-opted by Monster for their M logo), three parallel rips rendered trompe l’oeil, as if a creature tore through the surface. It’s a fake indexical sign, a copy of an imprint. Assiff co-opts Monster’s adaption of the claw mark, transforming it from an emotive, bad boy icon into another kind of indexical mark, a functional one - a tally mark that counts extinct animals lost in the early 2000’s.
The show takes its title, Bali Ha’i, from a golf club and resort in the heart of Las Vegas. Boasting 7,000 yards of tropical golf paradise, the club’s name references the fictive setting for the Rodgers and Hammerstein musical "South Pacific". Assiff depicts the design of the golf course by carving through his green canvases. These paintings, mimicking the creation of Bali Ha'i itself, synthesize a manicured fantasy of nature.