As a lawyer with a background in intellectual property law, it makes sense that artist Alfred Steiner would be drawn to the concepts of copyright infringement and artistic plagiarism.”Likelihood of Confusion”, the title of his solo show at the Joshua Liner Gallery in Chelsea, which opens on October 16, is itself a term used in determining such cases on a legal basis.
For the 15 pieces on display here, primarily water color on paper, Steiner reimagines trademarks and corporate brands with incongruous, naturalistic images as the building blocks, such as in Panda, a hybridized version of the World Wildlife Fund’s logo using various animals.
That fascination with animal parts has been with him from a young age, he explains in the artist’s statement:
I spent my elementary school years in rural Ohio—in a pile of animal parts. My friend’s dad had a VCR with three tapes, one of which was the Texas Chainsaw Massacre. It was my favorite and not just because the fictional events occurred on my birthday. It has a scene where one of the victims stumbles into a room strewn with bones—mostly animal—at once terrifying and rustic in the yellow Texan sun. Not to be outdone, my friend and I discovered a boneyard while roaming a nearby farm and harvested some cow skulls that we cleaned with bleach. There was also a fur dealer who lived nearby just past the creek. In our only encounter, I watched him remove a fox’s heart and hand it to me. But even that didn’t prepare me to find a severed eye in my mailbox. Lowering the mailbox door, I found the milky sphere suspended in a jar of formaldehyde. It was from our veterinarian who was indulging my predilection for the anatomical….
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