In a back corner of The Helm gallery in Tacoma, three branches—one on the floor, one propped against the wall—are covered in layers of colored vinyl, with a few icons of street art recognizable among the stickers. Shepard Fairey’s image of Obama is here, as well as the presidential emblem itself, which has been cut to mere hue: patriotic blue here and white text there, with occasional bright snips of red. According to artist Gretchen Bennett, a lot of the stickers were carefully peeled from street signs in Brooklyn, including a skull-headed Michelin Man by KAWS (aka Brian Donnelly, whose mural fills a wall at Rudy’s Barbershop in Belltown). Bennett has been using iconic Brooklyn and Northwest images to sticker public spaces in Seattle and Portland (her beautifully sad Dying Fawn may be the most recognizable). In her minimal sculpture at The Helm, part of a show called “Second Peoples,” the urban landscape may be more sticker than tree.
I Saw This: Sticker Stuck
Gretchen Bennett at The Helm in Tacoma.