Solomon’s latest collection appropriates luxury material and antiquated processes to parallel a history of impractical grandeur. Literally Balling is the result of Solomon’s year-long apprenticeship under the last remaining stained-glass masters and hundreds of hours of fastidious, historically accurate craftsmanship.
From as early as 600 AD, its rare materials and exhaustive process have made stained glass a paramount symbol of wealth and power. Throughout the 12th century, stained glass windows adorning monolithic cathedrals flexed on behalf of a manors reign. The irony of the embellishment: removing the window’s intended function.
As basketball and its stars ascend to new cultural dominance, re-building the sport’s iconic symbol with the same painstaking medium both celebrates its evolution and satirizes the same ironic instinct to trade intention for opulence.
Literally Balling presents five new stained glass basketball backboards, adorned with custom 24 karat gold plated hoops and woven Swarovski crystal nets.
Accompanying the backboards, an accomplice in this prole drift – a Literally Balling “zine”. The same dimension as street-level Xerox’d serials, here elevated to engraved brass plates, gold leaf and set faux diamonds, tell luxury lore from some of the games greats:
Allen Iverson disputed a former teammates claim of $40,000 strip club binges by clarifying: $9,000 was spent at the club at best, but dinners at TGIFriday’s with he and the dancers would get to $40,000 because “they didn’t have the endless appetizer thing back then”
Further, Solomon continues the light-hearted flow between luxury, sport and history with Stack to the Ceiling, an installation of wall-mounted gold basketballs, a wry nod to both Donald Judd’s seminal work and new-money parlance.
Literally Balling elegantly balances wit, irony and fastidious craftsmanship in exploration of a host of disparate narratives: the religious devotion to sport, the athlete as modern-day king of court, the proletarian drift of basketball from project pick-up games to newfound cultural heights, even a cautionary comment on the fragility of luxury.
Literally Balling – Victor Solomon
935 N. Fairfax Ave.
Los Angeles, CA 90046
Exhibition dates: September 8 – October 9
Opening Reception: Thursday, September 8, 7-10pm