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POP-UP STORIES: The “American Dream”, alive and well?

Who still believes in the “American Dream”? A nice suburban home with a well kept front lawn, a happy couple with children, burgers and hotdogs barbecuing in the backyard, the sun is shining while the Andrew Sisters’ Mr. Sandman plays in the background, you know the story… 

Well, it’s not quite dead yet, as last week the artist Pia Sawhney revived the myth and created her own version of the “American Dream” postcard in the form of an immersive sculptural installation in Parasol Project’s 208 Bowery location.  

american Dream Room 2018@208 bowery
The American Dream Room, 2018 @ 208 Bowery

“I want to evolve the way we consume fine art since we’re in an era where people live on their phones and want to frame their photos and be a part of the picture. Making realistic paintings is technical for me, not creative since I use a reference, so I wanted to creatively challenge myself to mix building an immersive and interactive environment for my work,” explains the artist.  

american Dream Room 2018@208 bowery
FOMO Feed @ The American Dream Room, 2018 – 208 Bowery

And immersive it was! A synthetic lawn filled with hidden visual messages and burger candies greeted onlookers while the closer you seemed to look the more twisted this replica of a typical suburban house façade came to be. While one might have then expected to walk into more stereotypes, once through the door, viewers found themselves immersed in a pink bedroom adorned with a giant American flag sculpture made of AK-47s and hand grenades.

american Dream Room 2018@208 bowery
FOMO Feed @ The American Dream Room, 2018 – 208 Bowery

While the political allusion to the current state of American firearm controversies is not so subtle, Pia considers herself a visual artist and her work is first and foremost about form. Other works in the bedroom include a giant wink to Warhol’s Campbell soup painting and a testimony to her own interest in pop aesthetic, a fully set table and chairs on the wall and paintings of various American delicacies so detailed that you are sure to leave the exhibition hungry. 

american Dream Room 2018@208 bowery
Pia Sawhney @ 208 Bowery

As her first pop-up experience, The American Dream Room, 2018, was a large success that she is likely to recreate in the future. When asked why she’d undertake such an ambitious project, she answered it was mostly to challenge herself and reach out to a wider audience. 

We look forward to seeing what Pia has in store for next year and years to come! 

208 Bowery / September 19-23, 2018 | 9 am – 9 pm

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