The Fussy Eye: Anger in a Jar

Most of the candy-colored sculptural confections offered by Rebecca Chernow are glass and glossy, cast-off consumer objects (or sculptural restatements of same), some littered on the floor. The real eye-catcher is a bit more political, a pyramid of paraffin-stoppered glass jars—all handmade—full of bright-hued jelly in green, yellow, red, and orange. Yes I Can is a semi-ironic response to Obama's old campaign slogan, carrying more than a bit of 99-percenter disillusionment. Each jar has an angry label: "Fuck Costco," "Fuck FOX News," Fuck the banks," and so forth. A New Yorker now transplanted to Seattle, Chernow's stated goal is "to create works that examine consumerism, prosperity, and notions of what defines the American pursuit of happiness in modern times." The mint and grape and lemon jellies certainly suggest happiness and home preserves; only the labels are sour. Neither Chernow nor any gallery visitor has the power to check Goldman Sachs or Walmart. Instead of anonymously funding her own multimillion-dollar PAC, the best she can do in response to the tilted political playing field is to bottle up her rage. Arranged on shelves, the 37 jars resemble candles on an altar—perhaps some kind of voodoo display intended to destroy Chernow's enemies. Although at the top is a vessel assailing "work," and no artist is ever going to prevail over that. 

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