Hildebrandt’s cassette shelves generally reflect the artist’s insatiable interest in music and cinema. An evolution of his paper works and connected to his granite pieces, both which feature iconic figures of cinema, these works are inspired by the shelves commonly used to store cassettes during the golden age of analog media. They recreate paintings or portraits that have been cut and then glued onto the inlays contained in the cases. A unique work created for Just Phriends, this work presents a portrait of Pharrell Williams altered with cuts based upon the pattern of a torn poster. By revealing a few cassette inlays, the cut-outs give partial access to the music archive metaphorically contained in the shelf.
Inkjet print, plastic cases, inlays in wooden case
62 13/16 x 43 7/8 x 3 9/16 in. (159.5 x 111.5 x 9 cm.)
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Magnetic tape has been a medium for art for nearly a century. As a vehicle for recording and relaying sound (and eventually video) the deep brown or black tightly spooled strands have wrapped the world in melody and color millions of times over. Much of Gregor Hildebrandt’s art is intent on reimagining how tape exists as art. While compact discs, and eventually digital files sent the magnetic tape out to pasture, Gregor has repurposed it as visual art in a number of elaborate and meticulous applications. He’s also found ways to assign new life to plastic cassette cases in ways that deliver nostalgic texture and dimension to his large-scale works. This piece – entitled Pharrell Tape Portrait – is a commanding example of this. At nearly 5ft tall, the portrait of Pharrell is rendered from an assemblage of over 600 cassette tape cases arranged in a wooden rack that evokes familiarity and yearning for a bygone era, and an imperative artifact of hip hop.