Mary-Ann Monforton | Luxe : Birmingham

December 10, 2022 - February 4, 2023
Installation Views
Press release
Monforton presents her tongue-in-cheek “luxury” line of bags and shoes fabricated with wire mesh, plaster gauze, paint and an occasional steel spike.  Her Hermes Birkin, Chanel Bucket and Fendi Baguette are humorous Claes Oldenburg-style takes on familiar objects which, in this case, are the sought-after accessories and shoes avidly collected by status seeking fashionable consumers. In recent years the trend setting influencers on social media have successfully promoted what appears to be an insatiable global desire for luxury goods. Monforton has taken her spoofs of these extravagant items to a new level with her joyful super-sized renditions of designer shoes and bags. Also, along for the ride are her colorful starry-eyed drawings of the same desirable goods: a Gucci Jackie, a Louis Vuitton Speedy and Valentino Garavani appear with other favorites. The installation features a 40-inch gold-painted wire mesh and plaster gauze Chandelier floating over the fabulous items on display.  It is a charming addition to the series and reminiscent of the splendid décor you’ll experience in the elegant boutiques and shoe salons found in cities like Milan, New York, and Paris. 
The real and the fake is constantly at play in my latest body of work.  LUXE explores the psychology of fame, fortune, mega-wealth, and privileged consumption.  The broader concepts of ascribing value to things is played out in this line of luxury goods that defy perfection and are rife with failure and humor …Mary-Ann Monforton 2022
Mary-Ann Monforton is an artist and curator. She was the Associate Publisher of BOMB Magazine from 1995 to 2021. Previous to that, she was involved in the NYC downtown art scene working as a music promoter from the late 70s through the early 80s. Monforton has exhibited her artwork in New York and elsewhere since 2014 and has curated numerous exhibitions in New York and Los Angeles since 1985. She was born in Windsor, Canada and raised in Detroit, Michigan. She holds a BFA from Aquinas College, Grand Rapids, MI. Monforton was a resident of New York City from 1974 to 2021.
Mary-Ann Monforton currently lives and works in Detroit.