Wherever artist Puppies Puppies exhibits, he has a knack for sensitively responding to the conditions and qualities of that context while bringing forward his own nuanced fascinations with Internet memes, popular culture and fantasy. Whether on his irrepressibly funny Facebook page or in recent exhibitions in Chicago, Oaxaca, Los Angeles and Japan, Puppies draws together signs of our times to be repackaged and redistributed in a spirit of generosity that also usually compels him to bring a few of his friends in to collaborate with him or appear in his stead. He never shies away from the weird; uncanny juxtapositions are central to his milieu.
Puppies Puppies’ special art project for Newcity is no exception: Harry Potter and his friends (and foes) are the pivot point around which Puppies’ latest site-specific project spins. Responding to the condition of a biweekly print publication in an increasingly Internet-driven age, we’ve been transfigured into the magical Daily Prophet that figures in J. K. Rowling’s literary world. What follows are hacked fashion editorial spreads in which Lord Voldemort (a recurring motif in Puppies’ work) looms.
At this point of intersection between an arts and culture publication and fanfiction cosplay vignettes lie ruminations on fashion and popular trends, how art and magic might be compared, and the future of art criticism in print and on the web. Additionally, as art schools across the city are just this minute embarking on new semesters, Puppies and two other Chicago-based artists who are no longer students in any formal way don Hogwarts school uniforms.
To elaborate on these roused issues, Newcity’s art section struck up conversations with specialists working at the forefront of their respective fields. Guest contributor Dana Bassett talks fashion and fall looks with the Fashion Resource Center; Collin Pressler profiles the burgeoning aesthetic super force Contemporary Art Daily; I offer the insights on art and the occult that artist Elijah Burgher shared with me. Puppies Puppies is indeed today’s prophet, a zeitgeist intuitive whose fantasies resonate with current conceptions of the art world and broader communities. (Matt Morris)
Daily Prophet cover image credits:
Art project by Puppies Puppies
Photography by W. Andrew Ripley, TenThousand Media
Artistic models are Chloe Seibert and Sim Lip
Hair and makeup by Luis Miguel Bendaña