Magic Ben Big Boy | Matthew Marks Gallery

by Taylor Giangregorio

Matthew Marks is paying tribute to the 90’s with the latest installation to his gallery titled “Magic Ben Big Boy: Lutz Bacher, Nayland Blake, Vincent Fecteau.” The exhibition seeks to re-create the one-person show, “Ben,” that was originally displayed 25 years ago in San Francisco’s Mission District. Sculptor Vincent Fecteau curated the exhibit which contains an array of eccentric pieces ranging from futuristic sculptures of old shoeboxes to photo collages of cats, and all of the oddities in between.

Lutz Bacher    Big Boy , 1992  Fabric, stuffing, faux fur, paint  98 x 46 x 24 inches  249 x 117 x 61 cm

Lutz Bacher

Big Boy, 1992

Fabric, stuffing, faux fur, paint

98 x 46 x 24 inches

249 x 117 x 61 cm

Bacher’s sinister sculpture Big Boy, an exponentially large, anatomically detailed stuffed doll replicated those used in child-abuse assessments, makes a rather iconic appearance at the exhibit. Although eerie, the doll examines the prominence of sexual abuse in today’s world, both secret and public, as the #MeToo movement remains tragically relevant.

Nayland Blake    Magic , 1990-91  Puppet, steel, paper, wood, nylon straps, artificial flowers, and carrying case  33 3/4 x 42 5/8 x 41 3/4 inches  86 x 108 x 106 cm

Nayland Blake

Magic, 1990-91

Puppet, steel, paper, wood, nylon straps, artificial flowers, and carrying case

33 3/4 x 42 5/8 x 41 3/4 inches

86 x 108 x 106 cm

Nayland Blake’s anomalous collage, Magic, features Wayland Flower’s puppet “Madame,” a relic of American comedy as the act gained national success on stage and on the screen in various comedy variety shows, also making a cameo in the American sitcom, Family Guy.

“Magic is one of my favorite pieces from that period of Nayland’s work,” said Fecteau, who once worked as an assistant in Blake’s studio. “Nayland also introduced me to Lutz when she approached him about finding someone to help fabricate Big Boy.”

Vincent Fecteau’s exhibition  Ben  at Kiki, San Francisco, 1994

Vincent Fecteau’s exhibition Ben at Kiki, San Francisco, 1994

Fecteau’s abstract installation, “Ben,” that debuted in the early 90’s will make a comeback, displaying a “cat and mouse narrative” in reference to Michael Jackson’s child molestation accusations. This theme circles back to the original 1994 show’s title “Ben,” named after the 1972 thriller and its theme song, sung by the King of Pop, himself.

Taking the viewer back to the funky and unusual world of the 90’s, the exhibit "Magic Ben Big Boy” is on display from Feb. 22 to April 20.

Magic Ben Big Boy: Lutz Bacher, Nayland Blake, Vincent Fecteau

Dates: February 22 - April 20, 2019

Location: 526 West 22nd Street

Time: Tuesday through Saturday, 10:00 a.m. - 6:00 p.m.


Photos courtesy of Lutz Bacher, Nayland Blake, Vincent Fecteau, and Matthew Marks Gallery