'Aerodynamic Karaoke' and the curious imagination of Dietrich Sieling
|Aerodynamic Karaoke by Dietrich Sieling|
Sieling, an artist living with autism, currently has an exhibition at Bockley Gallery titled "Aerodynamic Karaoke," named after a song by electronic music duo Daft Punk. According to gallery owner Todd Bockley, the show was inspired by fantasy food items and other loves, as well as fears.
|'Woman Shirt Off Uptown Diner'|
The grape Oreo appears once again in the mixed-media work on paper titled Woman Shirt Off Uptown Diner. At the center of the image is a person -- the title implies that it's a woman -- with long hair and what seems to be a beard. She's got a pig-snout nose, and her breasts and stomach are outlined by rounded rectangles. On either side of her are the words "Uptown Diner," along with descriptions of different dessert items, including grape Oreo ice cream, grape frosting, and Oreo water. While it may not be entirely clear what is literally going on in the piece, it's definitely joyful. The way that Sieling constructs the shapes in the work draws you in -- perhaps because of the strangeness of it all.
Another piece where the grape Oreos appear is called Purple Grape Oreo Shirt, which Bockley says is most likely a self-portrait of the artist. In it, a man with orange-tinted glasses smiles at the viewer. His shirt is covered with purple circles, the word "Oreo" written on them. In the background of the piece are intense scribblings of words, including "Oreo" and "grape." Like in Woman Shirt Off Uptown Diner, it carries with it a hopefulness and a pleasure in life. Sure, it's odd. But it makes you forget that it's odd, because it's a different reality from everyday life.
|Bee Sting Woman Lindsey Shirt Off|
Another black-and-white piece is Bee Sting Woman Lindsey Shirt Off where a woman seems to be riding a bicycle, and on her mouth is a bee. According to Bockley, Sieling is terrified of bees, and their presence is repeated several times throughout the exhibition.
|Purple Grape Oreo Shirt|
The titular piece, Aerodynamic Karaoke is perhaps one of the most simple in the entire exhibit. It looks like a green-and-red flag, with the words "Doo Doo Doo..." repeated throughout. The letters are colored purple and turqoise. You can imagine Sieling either listening to a song, or thinking about one as he makes the words into a tapestry on the page. It is virtually a visual depiction of happiness.