Household items transform into art

Jaclyn Gonzales
Staff Writer

Eclectic replications of ordinary household objects created through unique aesthetic techniques was the featured exhibit at the Pomona College Museum of Art during an opening reception on Saturday.The “Project Series 27: Kaz Oshiro” exhibition is part of the museum’s “Project Series.”

Oshiro’s exhibit consisted of five pieces including two dishwashers, two dryers and a wall cabinet.

All items were created with the mediums he typically works with: acrylic and Bondo (a material typically used by car refinishers) on canvas.

“Kaz makes trompe l’oeil replicas, which means to fool the eye,” said Rebecca G. McGrew, curator for the Montgomery Art Center.

Each piece was handcrafted with the exact dimensions and constructed to create an illusion utilizing the techniques of sculpture, painting and function of the object.

He adds touches to the piece to allow it to look as if it is actually from a person’s residence.

Oshiro proves his ability as a contemporary artist by redefining each object’s purpose.

His work resembles the art of those who have influenced him such as Andy Warhol and the art of Helter Skelter.

“His art would be described as hyper realist culture on stretch canvas,” said Steve Comba, assistant director of the museum. “What you see is not what it is.”

The Post Pop art he painted allows the observer to contemplate on the three-dimensional entity, which in reality is a two-dimensional surface that can be determined when viewed from the open back exposing the canvas of the painting.

“The theme of my exhibit is to create the everyday ambience with the noise you hear at home and wouldn’t normally think about,” Oshiro said.

Most of the viewers had the same opinion with their first impression.

“I really enjoy the fact that it is a one piece,” said Carrie Guss, a junior at Pomona College. “The detergent is a nice touch because it looks as if the machines belong to someone.”

Born in Okinawa, Japan, Oshiro moved to Los Angeles as a child, where he was influenced by both cultures, mainly focusing on replicas of American cultural artifacts that are present in his subjects in past exhibits.

“The message I want observers to obtain from the work in this gallery is to try to get the perception of art by the question it is raising,” Oshiro said. “It’s great to work with the people I’ve never met before. Art is about communication.”

Although “Project Series 27” is a simple show, the senses will be amazed with the relation of popular culture and creativity to put a twist on mundane objects.

The Project Series is a program developed by the museum to exhibit work by Southern California artists that is experimental and introduces new techniques, concepts, and forms.

The exhibit is currently open at The Pomona College Museum of Art in Claremont and concludes on Oct. 9. An artist lecture will be held at 4:15 p.m. on Sept. 21.

The museum is open on weekdays, except Monday, from 12 p.m. to 5 p.m. and weekends from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. Gallery admission is free and open to the public.

Jaclyn Gonzales can be reached at

Journalism operations manager at the University of La Verne. Production manager and business manager of the Campus Times.

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