Produced specifically for the Sign Show, "Plow Pose" investigates I-70 message themes including lifestyle, athletics, religion, and masculinity. The ambiguous composition—is the man restrained by or bursting out of the space?—invites viewers to think about representations of the human body on other billboards and in advertising generally. Haendel's piece also subtly engages its agricultural site in presenting a classic yoga position named for its resemblance to traditional Indian and Tibetan farming equipment.
"Plow Pose" continues a body of work Haendel generated from commercial photographs of women doing yoga, currently on view at Night Gallery in Los Angeles.
About the artist: Karl Haendel's meticulously hand-rendered, photorealistic graphite drawings reproduce images culled from the world of mass media and everyday objects, calling into question art-world conceptions of originality, production, and reproduction. The artist, who also makes films and books, arranges his drawings in salon-style installations to foster powerful reference juxtapositions that often point to and critique American culture. He has exhibited at institutions including the Wexner Center in Columbus, Los Angeles’s Museum of Contemporary Art, the Aspen Art Museum, New York’s Drawing Center, the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, the Art Institute of Chicago. He is represented by Susanne Vielmetter Los Angeles Projects, Los Angeles; and Mitchell-Innes & Nash, New York.