The Red Lodge Clay Center is pleased to present the Cup de Ville, a solo exhibition by Jeremy “Jr.” Kane. His finely crafted porcelain mugs and cups line the gallery walls and present an array of Americana imagery on the smooth and slick forms. The mugs become reminiscent of classic diner functional ware from across the country, only to be branded with his name and quintessential logo. The glossy white surface of the glaze provides a canvas that allows the imagery to pop, stand out, and become the focus. Pin-up girls in red bikinis pose next to the American flag, glancing over their shoulders. Hunting scenes, farm animals, guns, and decks of cards reference blue-collar Americana and nostalgia that have become a reference and fascination for him. Stripes in red, blue, and gold adorn the mugs near the bottom edge and circle around the form. His iconic flame decals finish off the mugs in true Jeremy Kane fashion and have become a type of signature for the artist.
On one side of a mug, a pig stands head on smiling at the viewer, while on the opposite side depicting the pig’s backside staring at you. Kane uses this type of humor to somewhat slap the viewer across their face while exploring the relationship between kitsch and fine art. Kitsch, nostalgia, Americana, fine art, and ego are the main ingredients in the “Jr. Ware” franchise. The artworks reference a kitsch history, commonly associated with the commercial, mass-produced object and tawdry imagery. The mugs look as if they could have been pulled from a catalog where one would be shopping for the perfect combination of function and tackiness. Yet each one is hand-made and stamped with the artist’s initial or a decal, stating that this is in fact, “Jr. Ware.”