A Review of Too Far Too Close, the Os Gemeos exhibition * Deitch Projects * by Jenna Breiter

An emphasis on the bizarreness of human nature, and the complications of individuality, exists as an experience within Too Far Too Close, the current installation at Deitch Projects by two Brazilian brothers who call themselves Os Gemeos. The split-level gallery, covered in cotton-candy pink, holds an assemblage of paintings, murals, and mixed media projects; the space is truly inhabited.

The sculptural pieces mounted within the entrance floor boldly occupy the space. Their gaze conjures dynamism between their forms and among gallery visitors, who travel around them as if by necessity. One sculptural head, its base the form of a pyramid, has a doorway sliced into its walls. Inside, and far enough from the bumbling music and pinwheel of colors, viewers find space to remember and reflect, but chaos and vibrancy remains. Mirrored edge to edge, the space reflects disjointed and bent versions of the viewer. The pieces sing of the detailed aesthetics in the gallery’s open space, and upon returning to the main gallery, one sees the space differently, now considering the segmented parts, just as when confronted with a cracked reflection.

Images of people fill the gallery, with attention given to faces. The figures are caricature-like, their bodies stretched and bloated, in portraits and scenes of recreation and distant memory. The walls hold something akin to a cultural timeline, not a concise story with a beginning and end, and not so much measured by time but by aesthetic. Os Gemeos move their brushes from canvas to wall to floor and ceiling in a vibrant palette of browns, yellows, greens, and reds that proves their confidence in the aesthetic. Suddenly, the figures on the walls come to life as a record player spins and buzzes a semblance of noise. It is the exuberance within each piece that fashions ties between the numerous scenes. Details rush against one another, creating one large, collaborative story.

The small, flashing bulbs, the smooth paint application, the mobile of dangling heads, the body guitar, the towering, wooden twin head sculptures, with window-shutters for ears, sit within the gallery bound by a source of energy inherent in their colors. Strings of candy lights tick on and off, and the faces, bodies, and household items that fill the space form a chaos that ultimately radiates vibrancy. The characters twist and jumble.

Os Gemeos creates a porthole into their understanding of this world and its complications—a decidedly small incision, but a compelling one.


Deitch Projects , 18 Wooster St, btw Canal and Grand, through August 9