Friday, January 21, 2011

It's Our Pleasure to Serve You

june - july 2010

I moved to New York 20 years ago, and I have lived in and been fascinated by this city ever since.

One of the first iconic NYC images to grab my attention was the ubiquitous take-out coffee cup. It was blue and white and featured an image of a classical greek sculpture, the discobolus, his nudity covered by some type of gladiatorial skirt. A little design suggestive of architectural moulding ringed the top and the bottom of the cup, and what appeared to be an olympic flame stood next to him. The back side of the cup said "It's Our Pleasure to Serve You".

Christopher Pelley, from "6 Cups Recto/Verso" 2010 digital photo

This little disposable cup has come to represent for me the unique cultural engine that is New York. The City is a voracious consumer of differing national identities and cultural heritages which become synthesized into the fabric of daily life on a scale unparalelled in the world. This bit of NYC ephemera also represents for me some core concepts of my work as an artist: the persistence of imagery across the centuries, and the profound influence of the past on the present.

The temporary installation at the Vizivarosi Gallery took approximately 2500 2.5" x 2.5" painted squares of paper to form the lo rez digital image.

John Balian, the Cultural Attache to the American Embassy in Budapest, did the honors of speaking at the opening of the exhibit, along with Beata Szechy, Director of the Hungarian Multicultural Center.
John Balian and Christopher Pelley

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