Hugo and I have been friends for nearly ten years. We went to school together and I have forever been a fan of his work. It’s been a long time since he’s had a show and I can see why. There’s been a nursing of thought and an evolution of ideas that are far ahead of their time. He gave me the honor of a personal walk through the show last week, sharing the story behind each piece, all of which are found objects adapted and placed with careful precision. For an exhibition strong enough to stand any interpretation, the stories behind the scenes are what add to its value. It’s the culmination of details and the perfection of every angle in which you experience the art.
There’s a small center for worship next door to Guccivuitton, which creates a magical entrance into the space, should you catch it at the right time. We arrived at the space around 7:30pm, well after sunset but still in time for the church choir. As we walked up to the gallery the echos of Haitian gospel increased in volume and you could feel the energy surround the gallery’s entrance. Hugo spent six weeks in the gallery, something that artists don’t regularly have a chance to do. The energy of the gospel choir filled the space that night just as it did throughout those six weeks. From every angle this show presents a new perspective, regardless of the stories behind it or the academic interpretations. It has the ability to stand alone.
I took my first steps into the gallery and immediately halted at the sight of a giant neon boulder suspended by an iron rod in the front center of the room. Stolen Boulder is a 300lbs concrete rock on a thin steel rod. Its placement is as organic as the story behind it and as intuitively calculated as the rest of the show. A reference to the late artist Franz West but with the physical might of what it takes to carry a 300lbs boulder, which takes things a step further than the constructed paper mache versions by West. Three of its four sides are painted with neon colors, giving it a playful feeling of weightlessness, like the tiny stones in an aquarium of tropical fish. One side of the stone was kept unpainted and organic, it’s pores and grains bring the reality of its natural state back to the piece.