May 17 – June 23, 2007

Opening reception:
Thursday, May 17th
6:00 to 8:00 p.m.

ClampArt is pleased to announce “Freddie and the Chocolate Factory,” an exhibition of photographs by French artist, Frédéric Lebain (b. 1966).

Originally trained as a chef, Lebain then worked as a food stylist before finally becoming a professional photographer. This trajectory is particularly compelling when one considers his newest body of work. Utilizing a traditional confectionary technique for chocolate-coating cakes, Lebain completely covered a variety of objects related to his childhood. First freezing the items for a period of several days, Lebain then employed an airbrush to spray the objects with hot, melted chocolate. Back-grounds for the still-lifes were also coated in a similar fashion, and the resultant photographs, printed on a slightly textured rag paper, have a uniform, velvety finish, providing a distinctly tactile curiosity.

Lebain’s subjects include, among other things, a turntable, an Atari game, a disco ball, and an early Apple computer—highly coveted objects of his youth. By covering them in chocolate the artist not only visually accentuates their modernist design, he also plays upon the double-meaning of these objects representing consumable commodities. These inert products are suddenly transformed quite literally into objects of corporeal desire (appealing to one’s physical appetite, if you will).

Lebain has commented that while the project taps memories of his youth, it also deliberately references another artwork that addresses the past—namely Rodney Graham’s “Rheinmetall/Victoria 8,” in which a 1930s typewriter is progressively covered by a snowy white powder.

“Freddie and the Chocolate Factory” is Frédéric Lebain’s first solo show in the United States. He has been exhibiting seriously for nearly a decade with shows throughout Europe and Asia.

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