Monday, April 22, 2013

Erica Rivera Reviews Dzine at Public Functionary


Dzine: Victory

Public Functionary, the new art gallery and Kickstarter success story, dazzled Northeast Minneapolis with the opening of Dzine’s “Victory” exhibit on Saturday night.

Dzine, the nom de plume of Chicago-based Puerto Rican artist Carlos Rolon, is a study in excess. Gorgeous without being gaudy, Dzine intertwines machismo symbolism with matriarchal artifacts.

Dzine’s exhibit blended both Neo-Baroque and psychedelic palettes, shamelessly flaunting opulence while staying true to street swagger. The glittery, sequined-splashed pieces were a feast of color for winter weary eyes. Crimson shag carpet lined one section of the walls; another was wallpapered in distinguished gold stencil. Mirrors were incorporated throughout, an especially stunning touch in a massive mosaic piece that reflected back a broken image of the viewer.

Dzine is known for “Kustom Kulture Sculptures,” such as his collection of bejeweled trophies. Many showcased angels perched, wings akimbo while another was adorned with brass knuckles. A pair of fighting gold cocks crouched in the corner, their shadows lurking ominously on the wall thanks to an elegant, low-hanging chandelier nearby.

The two (minor) disappointments in the Dzine exhibit were that there wasn’t more (a single room simply wasn’t enough to skim the surface of this fascinating and fresh artist) and that the exhibit wasn’t interactive. Being able to feel the fabrics and textures of the artwork might have made an even bigger impact on the patrons, who were clearly wowed but expressed surprise at how quickly they moved through the room.


“The live art experience needs to be elevated,” curator Tricia Khutoretsky said in anticipation of the opening. By choosing Dzine for its inaugural show, Public Functionary is already taking the Twin Cities art scene to a whole other level. “Victory” is indeed a visual triumph.