World of Wonder Productions‘ Anti-Trump art exhibition “Surviving Trump: The Art of Resistance” at the fabulous World of Wonder’s Storefront Gallery is a week and a half away! As art is coming to our building, we wanted to highlight and feature all the brave badasses that will be donating their work (all the proceeds sold from each piece will go directly to the ACLU).
Today, we are featuring the incredible Kaplan Twins.
We are identical twin artists who work as a collaborative team. We both received Bachelor of Fine Arts degrees from New York University and are currently living and working in Los Angeles, California.
Our work explores the complex nature of the alter ego and its role in the various ways different audiences perceive these personas through media manipulation, cultural taboos, celebrity culture, twin identities, fantasies, and fascinations.
We insert ourselves in almost all of our works, as a sort of narcissism, and objectify ourselves and our subjects. Our work is a commentary on celebrity exploitation and its role in fame, mass media’s reconstruction of reality through manipulation, shock, and spectacle, the seduction of abjection, and the concept of self.
Ultimately leading the viewer to interpret our works not just as objects, but as entertainment. More than anything, we like to be ourselves and have fun with the work we make ;).
Check out their piece for our show:
Here’s our exclusive with the girls:
WOW: For those that might not be familiar with your work, can you tell us a little bit about what kind of art you make and why you make it?
Kaplan Twins:We like to make work that is purposefully exploitative and that comments on celebrity culture. A lot of our work deals with media manipulation and the way celebrities gain attention, notoriety, and fame. We’re so fascinated with celebrities because they’re constantly exploiting themselves in the media, and vice versa.
The way in which we insert ourselves into our work is deliberate as well and acts as a commentary of this culture. We show our work mainly through social media and we’re very self-aware that we are also replicating some of the tactics celebrities use to gain attention in the media. We’re capitalizing on the way people so easily insert themselves as well into conversations through social media. We want our work to resonate with people, cause a reaction, and generate a conversation.
We did a series of large scale oil paintings from Kim Kardashian’s sex tape from 2007 with Ray J and one from Paris Hiltons sex tape. We have an oil painting of our boobs cropped right at our collar bones and under our belly buttons. One of us standing next to one another with chocolate smeared all over our butts and strawberries up our butts. We posted suggestive photos of ourselves in bed with stuffed super hero action toys every day for a week and sold them over Instagram. This was called “Boy Toys”. We like to push boundaries in our art and see what we can get away with.
WOW: For our show, can you tell us a little bit about your piece and what the inspiration behind it was? Obviously, the inspiration is Trump, but what angle led you to depict him in the way that you did.
Kaplan Twins: We did a series called #satonyourface where we painted famous artists’ faces, like Jeff Koons, Damien Hirst, Andy Warhol, Keith Haring etc. on white canvases and then painted our butt cheeks various bright colors, and sat on the artists’ faces. We also are currently continuing the series of customizable portraits where people can send in photos of themselves, friends, family, or whosever face they us to sit on, and we do it. It’s called #sitonmyface. We thought it would be funny to do this with Trump and purposely chose a photo of him with his eyes closed and smiling. We don’t like to take ourselves too seriously and we thought this would be a funny contribution. The media also played a big role in Trumps campaign, and he certainly exploited himself. The crazier he acted the more attention people paid. You can call it infamous, or famous, regardless he was still on everyone’s radar.
The piece of Melania is from our Make Me Famous series. She was a part of a series of large scale oil paintings from celebrity sex scandals, including Kim Kardashian’s and Pairs Hilton’s sex tape.
WOW: It’s been said that during times of oppression, the best art comes out. What advice can you give our readers/fellow artists about continually creating during this dismal climate.
Kaplan Twins: Art, any kind of art, whether it is acting or painting, designing, producing, writing, literally any creative outlet, is a form of expression. It’s an expression of and reaction to what is happening in society and around us. As artists were happy creating, and we like to create work that gets people talking, hopefully they find it funny. So that’s the goal, just to keep creating.
WOW: Will you be at the Women’s March on saturday? What are your thoughts on protest? Is art protest as well as marching?
Kaplan Twins: We will not be there physically but we will be there in spirit. Art is disruptive.
WOW: What other organizations can our readers donate to (besides the ACLU) during this time.
Kaplan Twins: Well we both have chronic Lyme disease, which is also a bit controversial, and also a long story, but we’d love to see readers donate towards that.
The resistance party commences January, 18, 2017 from 8-9PM at the World of Wonder Storefront Gallery. All artwork’s proceeds with benefit the ACLU. Please RSVP to firstname.lastname@example.org.