The American Dream/Renny’s Delicatessen (2017-2023)
Reniel Del Rosario
In the Window Gallery
Reniel Del Rosario creates ceramics that playfully recreate or re-imagine familiar objects. From cakes to cigarettes to burial jars, these hand-built objects are made in the tens to hundreds and are full of imprints and inconsistencies. These objects are then gathered and put into a huddled crowd/pile or in socially interactive installations in public — mimicking consumer establishments, both highlighting the abundance of the objects as an antithesis for the love of the mass-produced. These objects each carry the histories of the goods they mimic whether it’s making forgeries of luxury objects, selling art as if it was a consumer object, or recreating lost artifacts in a contemporary setting, Within Del Rosario’s works there is consistently an exploration of value—cultural, monetary, and historical: what’s worth money and what’s not?; which objects throughout history have importance and which ones have been deemed useless?; which objects carry a loaded meaning— subdued in the midst of their common usage and acceptance? Value is toyed with and it’s up to the viewers to readjust their own valuation of the objects.
Thank you to Johany Huinac De Leon, Michael Granados, Kira Oikawa-Clark, Angela Buencamino Phung, Mila Moldenhawer, and Arnel Del Rosario for being assistants to ‘The American Dream/Renny’s Delicatessen’ projects from 2018 to 2021.
Renny’s Delicaessen is guest curated by Alexis Iammarino. With a focus on community-based murals, film, dance, and collaborative project design, she has led multiple large public art projects in the Midcoast and statewide. She co-directs and curates for Interloc in Thomaston, Maine, and is director of the public history projects, Hole History: Origins of the American-Style Donut and The Brick Journal: A Brick is a Type of Block.
Reniel Del Rosario (b. Iba, Philippines) is an artist that primarily uses ceramics, quantity, and satire to discuss themes of commodification and value. His projects range from interactive mimicries of consumer establishments, reimaginings of artifacts, and imperfect copies of already-existing objects. He holds a BA in Art Practice from the University of California at Berkeley. He is a 2019 recipient of the Center for Craft’s Windgate-Lamar fellowship, a 2022 SFMOMA Artists Soapbox Derby racer, and has been featured in writings such as ARTFORUM and Bon Appetit Mag. His work has been exhibited internationally through traditional and alternative venues such as West Coast Craft, Meta Open Arts, the Contemporary Art Museum St. Louis, Catharine Clark Gallery, Load Na Dito, the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, Jane Lombard Gallery, and simply on the public sidewalk.