Seth Kinmont

Even during a recession, Bellevue is full of expensive cars—Porsches, Mercedes-Benzes, the occasional Ferrari. But nothing you’ll see on the street resembles the jalopy New York artist Seth Kinmont is assembling as part of his residency at Open Satellite. Two exist only as models and sketches on the walls. The third is called Vis a Vis, and it’s an electric-powered, self-propelled wooden buggy riding on cartwheels built by an Amish craftsman. (Passengers will sit facing one another, eye to eye, hence the name.) The trim is decorated with monetary and stock-table symbols—the kind your grandfather might’ve read during the ’20s, before the Great Depression. "Vehicle" is the name of Kinmont’s show, a term that can be understood in more than one sense: transport, certainly; but also as a means of financial exchange, conveyance, or investment; and also the container of a body headed to the grave. During a walk-through with the friendly, California-raised artist, he cites influences ranging from The Wall Street Journal’s financial pages to SoCal go-kart culture to the hot-rodders of Tom Wolfe. The unbuilt 100mp two-seater he calls “open casket. It’s such a death trap—it’s perfect.” He also calls Vis a Vis “hearse,” and hopes to get a city permit to drive the vehicle around the block when it’s completed, the interior to be lavishly upholstered in vintage materials. And unlike a Maserati, he explains, this electric car got him a $3,500 tax credit back in New York. See—good art pays dividentds. BRIAN MILLER

Tuesdays-Saturdays, 12-6 p.m. Starts: June 4. Continues through July 3, 2009

 
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