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  • GUYTONWALKER - Untitled, 2009

  • GUYTONWALKER - Untitled (Ketel One Knife), 2004


For nearly a decade, the collaborative effort between two high-profile New York artists called Guyton\Walker has been delivering a deluge of visual pop and seizure-inducing sculptures that take the form of paint cans, screen-printed canvases, laminated tables, drinking glasses, and even coconuts (which, as exhibited, double as light fixtures). As with their own separate, very distinct careers, the men behind this visionary endeavor, Wade Guyton and Kelley Walker, rely heavily on the ink-jet printer and the scanner as a principle engine in the machinery, printing designs that range from sliced fruit and checkerboard patterns to polka dots and kitchen knives. Now in the show "Wade Guyton, Guyton\Walker, Kelley Walker," opening this month at Austria's Kunsthaus Bregenz, the connections between the collaboration and their respective solo trajectories will be tied together in one extended exhibition-and this time Guyton\Walker is including some printed mattresses should audience members collapse from overstimulation.

According to Guyton and Walker, the show is a continuation of their artistic processes, both in seclusion and together. Rumination and even moments of stagnation are all part of the effort. "Sometimes you have ideas that don't make any sense to execute on your own, or you don't feel like being alone in the studio. It's more interesting to work things out with a friend," they explain. One idea that has worked out quite well is the appropriation of functional objects like tables and beds. It turns out that making art out of mattresses is harder than it looks. "One day we were approving the tufting designs and mattress tape for our prototypes, the next day this old family from New Jersey that made them was out of business—100 years, then two mattresses with us and gone. They made them by hand and we haven't found anyone with comparable skills. Who knew buttonless tufting was such a rarified technique?" In any case, just because they will be featured in a gallery doesn't mean they aren't still suitable for sleeping or hanging out on. Or, as Guyton\Walker says, "They're meant for use! Meant for life!"

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