Aliens and poodles populate the neon landscape of Margot Bird’s first New York solo exhibition “Poodle Saga”, sometimes tied together by chunky gold chains, sometimes floating on animal pattern backgrounds. Bird presents a new planet, where the aliens have enticed, or perhaps entrapped, the poodles into a lively exchange. Bird does not impose a narrative on her characters: aliens ride poodles like circus showgirls and poodles sprout butterfly wings or long snake-like necks in the candy-colored fluorescent landscape. Bird's narrative looseness is echoed in her execution-- the paintings are rich with color and free-flowing brushstrokes. We are able to catch glimpses of how this other world might have emerged, but there are no specifics.
In addition to paintings are ceramic sculptures of gilded poodles, both glamorous and kitsch, recalling both a grandmother’s prized porcelain collection and a pop diva’s wildly lavish jewels. Her treatment of aliens, a potentially terrifying subject when one considers the possibilities, turns to the accepted anthropomorphized version of "little green men," sometimes sporting bling of their own. This melding of worlds is intentional: Bird is drawn to the vivid impression these trappings create. Just as the poodles’ silly traditional haircut transforms them into a snobby “high class” animal from an ordinary dog, the gold chains and rings people wear transform them from ordinary people into larger-than-life personalities. Bird’s works embrace the ridiculous and indulge our desire to make the average spectacular and the unknown loveably familiar.
Margot Bird (b. 1982, Sioux City, Iowa) lives and works in Brooklyn, NY. She received her Bachelor of Arts degree from University of Wisconsin- Madison, WI in 2006. She has exhibited at Yo Mama Gallery, Brooklyn, NY and created murals in Oaxaca, Mexico City, Seattle and New York City. This will be Bird’s first exhibition with the gallery.