Jani Leinonen "Rejected Ideas for Cap'n Crunch Advertisements"

Moeller Snow Gallery

poster for Jani Leinonen "Rejected Ideas for Cap'n Crunch Advertisements"

This event has ended.

Jani Leinonen, a 21st century pop artist from Finland, makes his debut exhibition, Rejected Ideas for Cap'n Crunch Advertisements, in New York City at Moeller Snow Gallery. Leinonen, born in 1978, is a celebrated figure in the pop culture of the Nordic region.

Leinonen is recognized for his public, political and popular cultural events, artworks that actively include the participation of a general audience, not only limited to that of the immediate art world.

In September of 2006, Leinonen realized the Art Supermarket Pikasso, a month long project where contemporary art was sold on the shelves and in the aisles of a recently closed branch of a Finnish supermarket chain. Visitors to Pikasso outnumbered the combined attendance of the contemporary art museums and galleries in Helsinki, Finland, for its month of operation.

Exactly one year later, Leinonen launched the Art Chop Shop on the outside grounds of the Museum of Contemporary Art Kiasma in Helsinki. The Art Chop Shop, an elaborate installation in three cargo containers, was a business that offered its customers the possibility to bring their own artworks to be tuned. Tuning is modifying an existing artwork to improve it: it is not about fixing or restoring but rather about adding value to the work both artistically and economically. The interaction of the Chop Shop produced 142 tuned artworks.

For Rejected Ideas for Cap'n Crunch Advertisements, Leinonen's protagonist is Cap'n Crunch, who filibusters the world with the likes of his commercial comrades Tony the Tiger, Snap, Crackle & Pop, the Quaker Oats Man, Aunt Jemima and Ronald McDonald. Rejected Ideas for such commercial products that never saw the light of day tell a puzzled story about the collective unconsciousness. The viewer expects one thing but is presented with another. The main character Cap'n Crunch is no longer a polished war hero but a panhandling veteran, trigger-happy fundamentalist, sex-crazy pervert and religious fanatic.

Also included in this exhibition are three Pay-Per-View paintings, which come from a project Leinonen started in 2002. The Pay-Per-View paintings have been framed with a built-in slot machine and liquid crystal glass that is opaque until the viewer inserts money to reveal the framed artwork for fifteen seconds.

Along with Cap'n Crunch, the focus of this exhibition is a new sculpture titled Coulrophobia, specifically made for the Moeller Snow Gallery. Coulrophobia epitomizes Leinonen's naughty imagination concerning the metamorphosis, the grotesque and the hybridization of contemporary culture.

In response to commercial and consumer culture, the paintings and sculpture of Leinonen evoke an uncertain reflection to where contemporary culture is headed. The totality of the images, logos and characters produced by the advertising industries are forced through collective memory's filter in Rejected Ideas for Cap'n Crunch Advertisements and although unmistakably recognizable they are redrawn and altered by Jani Leinonen.



from February 03, 2009 to March 14, 2009

Opening Reception on 2009-02-03 from 19:00 to 21:00


Jani Leinonen

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