Retired Jerseys Statement
How is it everyday objects can express empathy and evoke shared memories of past experiences? By charging an object with meaning we change its purpose and value. Maybe the highest calling an object can have is for it to move past its use value and become something more. Through their connection to a time, place, and or person, objects become resonant conveyors of meaning. Once imbued with meaning, they can speak, act and heal.
I lost my older brother, David, in a car accident in 1996. He was only 20 years old and since it was 1996, there weren’t a lot of pictures or video of him. I cherish the few I have but I noticed his objects held a much deeper power over me. People connect with the story of my brother as well as their own memories stored in each of the objects represented in these works. Whether recalling their own meanings within these objects or connecting with the story of my brother, nostalgia becomes a balm for the everyday.
Like most younger siblings, I thought my brother was a legend. By elevating the physicality of both his objects and ones of that time period, I am presenting a somewhat biased portrait of his life and athletic prowess. This is where the series title, “Retired Jerseys” came from.
The works are hanging sculptures made from cast UV-stable epoxy resin. Some are clear or tinted while others are vintage shirt designs re-imagined as clear or translucent versions of their original selves. Simply put, clear is a metaphor for the intangibility of memory. Some are accentuated with objects from the time period they represent. These include vintage fake Oakley sunglasses, a vintage Drakkar Noir cologne sample, vintage yellow Sony Sports headphones and a vintage pager to name a few.
Chris Bakay is a multidisciplinary visual artist living and working in Houston, TX. His work is informed by past personal experiences as well as commentary on human nature. The materials he works with range from industrial resins and silicones to household items like sugar and ice. Born in 1977, in Atlanta, GA, he studied Design at The Creative Circus. Bakay’s work has been included in solo and group exhibitions in New York, Austin, Indianapolis, Houston and Galveston. His work has been covered by High Snobiety, Business Insider and Design Taxi. In 2017, he was commissioned by Nike for a VaporMax sculpture for Air Max Day.
2019 Stained Glass, Indianapolis Art Center, Indianapolis, IN
2019 The Tangibility of Memory, Galveston Arts Center, Galveston, TX
2019 Summer Group Show, Fabrik Projects, Los Angeles, CA
2019 Emerging to Established (7/13-8/26), Krause Gallery, New York, NY
2019 Emerging to Established (1/5-2/26), Krause Gallery, New York, NY
2018 The Big Show, Lawndale Art Center, Houston, TX, (curated by Evelyn C. Hankins, PhD.)
2017 OVERNEATH, Northern-Southern Gallery, Austin, TX, (curated by Rachel Freeman)
2017 The Big Show, Lawndale Art Center, Houston, TX (curated by Toby Kamps)
2016 The Big Show, Lawndale Art Center, Houston, TX (curated by Apsara DiQuinzio and Tina Kukielski)
2014 Voids, Shadows and Believable Things (with Brad Nelson), Avis Frank Gallery, Houston, TX
2017 Nike, clear VaporMax sculptures for Air Max Day, NYC
Helena Rodriguez. “Las Esculturas De Chris Bakay: Jerseys Jubilados”, Velvet Magazine Mexico Y Latino America, April 25 2019
Kurt, Ilkin, Interview, A Journal. May 9, 2018
Moloney, Tim. "Icy Hot", Local Houston Magazine. June 2017
Barrington, Molly. Interview, VexxdMagazine.com. March 31, 2017
Zierold, Ariadna. "Retired Jerseys by Chris Bakay", UpperPlayground.com. March 14, 2017
2018 The Big Slide Show, Lawndale Art Center, Houston, TX
2017 The Big Slide Show, Lawndale Art Center, Houston, TX
2016 The Big Slide Show, Lawndale Art Center, Houston, TX
2013-2015 Avis Frank Gallery