Marcus Tremonto of Treluce Studios is at it again-and then some. Lately familiar to 3rings readers for his "Are You Positive?" series of lights made of illuminated paper, the NYC-based artist/designer has recently expanded his repertoire, if not his chosen material. And who could blame him for (for now) sticking with a good thing? The medium of electroluminescent paper seems to fit his comic-bookish/urban/borderline absurdist style-an aesthetic that, with "Are You Positive?," left us pondering the nature of lightbulb, and now-with his latest collection for the "Make Me" exhibition-provokes some profound doubt about what constitutes the real.
Pipe Spill. Designed by Marcus Tremonto.
But perhaps that kind of talk is off the mark when it comes to Tremonto, whose hallmark is a sort of innovative whimsy. The four pieces for Moss Gallery's "Make Me" are each-like the bulbs from "Positive,"-art pieces constructed of electroluminescent paper. Not lights in the traditional sense, but rather a fusion of set piece/sculpture/objet d'art, "Flor," "Pipe," "Spill," "Spill 2," and "Steam" seem like emissaries from some two-dimensional world, plopped down amid the Gotham art scene to wreak some havoc.
Apropos of the show's title, each of the pieces confronts the viewer with an odd and imposing (and illuminated) physical object, but beyond that with a kind of existential problem as well. Questions hapless attendees may ask themselves at this pending encounter include "Who left the Simpson's water running?" "Is it still radioactive if it's comic book sludge?" and "When did R. Crumb's cast of misanthropes spawn offspring?" Such is the imaginative musing that Tremonto's exaggerated elemental forms provoke, among layman and artist alike. As Tremonto says, "By manipulating and exaggerating size and form, the work forces the viewer to re-examine, question and consider the surroundings in which it exists as part of the piece, much like a cell in a comic or frame that tells a story. I want the viewer to interact with what they are experiencing, either by movement or question, thus allowing the relationship to begin between them and the piece."