The More You Want..., ...The Less You Get
Particularly shaped by his own youth in the 1990s, his recent works have incorporated things like a marijuana leaf, a dragon-emblazoned chain wallet, metal grommets, and the ubiquitous (in the 90s) Stussy symbol. Reflecting and recouping elements from American youth culture, Reini’s works question how we package, mark, and express ourselves through manufactured symbols of identity.
Reini has also used images of Mickey Mouse—Disney’s anthropomorphic icon—in numerous works, including in this pair of works, The More You Want…, …The Less You Get, from 2015. Both works are made using latex and canvas in cut-out patterns that form the shape of the famous mouse, and his female counterpart, Minnie. Reini’s use of these iconic characters is pointed and swift: even the simple suggestion of a form, implied through the cuts in the canvas, is enough to flood viewers with associations and memories. These shared pop images, which Reini evokes through negation, through absence, become the shorthand for a modern culture bereft of real connections.
In the work of American artist Zach Reini, elements of recent pop culture mix with art historical references to create works tinged with playfulness and darkness. Indebted to pop art as well as modernist painting, much of Reini’s work revolves around markers that adorn the human body, defining and branding their wearer.