Turning the familiar and the mundane into your subject matter is nothing new for contemporary artists. Kaari Upson, however, took reality and pushed the very concept to its limits - a feat nothing short of admirable. By developing her own latex-moulding technique, she ended up with the concept of the “skin of the real” and a myriad of artworks originating from mattresses and other everyday objects. Eternal, stuck in limbo, these replicated items remain unchanged; a perfect approximation twisted beyond recognition. Not only that, but she is a trickster too, playing with the perception of memory, both personal and public. In her most well-known work series, The Larry Project, Upson re-appropriated items from a John Doe’s abandoned property - whom she just called “Larry”. This is where the unsettling puppet-like figures that populate her work come from.
DESTE Foundation for Contemporary Art brings in over 30 pieces by Upson in a five-month-long exhibition that spans her entire career. A fitting in memoriam for Upson, who passed in 2021 at the age of 51, and an introduction to her work.