Okay Mountain. 4-Wheeler Rollover. 2012. ATV, concrete, paint. dimensions variable. Image © Andy Ryan
In their Sculpture Park intervention, 4-Wheeler Rollover, Okay Mountain stages a rebellious joy ride that rips through deCordova’s pristine campus and terminates in an upturned All-Terrain Vehicle (ATV). The eight-member artist collective casts the freewheeling tire treads in tinted concrete, to give permanence to the normally ephemeral tracks, and to place the vehicle in dialogue with the more traditional sculptures that surround it. By deliberately crashing “lowbrow” thrillcraft culture into the “highbrow” space of fine art, Okay Mountain orchestrates the kind of witty cultural collision for which they are known.
Based in Austin, TX, the artists of Okay Mountain (Carlos Rosales-Silva, Corkey Sinks, Josh Rios, Justin Goldwater, Ryan Hennessee, Nathan Green, Peat Duggins, Michael Sieben, Sterling Allen, Tim Brown), have been working collaboratively since 2006 when they formed an artist-run alternative gallery. Since then, the group has exhibited their installation projects throughout the United States and in Mexico City. Their large-scale sculptural projects blend humor with a big Texan mentality and aesthetic, are rife with art historical references and laced with social critique. With 4-Wheeler Rollover, the art historically savvy artists riff off the long and hallowed tradition of Land Art by taking the Sculpture Park—once the manicured lawn of Julian de Cordova—as their canvas, but revisit this history through the unexpected language of American consumer culture and recreation. The collective carves up the Park with a wink, a nod, and a slight jab at Land Artists like Michael Heizer, who excavated huge trenches and choreographed lyrical motorcycle track drawings in the desert. Their brand of smart, bawdy interventions coyly critique the institutionalization of art and invite us all along for the ride.