Recess is pleased to present Pet Store, a solo exhibition by San Francisco Bay Area-based artist Kristina Micotti. In addition to a series of new animal-themed paintings, Pet Store will also include Recess-exclusive sticker packs, hats, and hand-painted tote bags plus various pins and accessories from Micotti’s product line.
Loosely rendered in her trademark whimsical illustrative style, this collection of animals embodies the utopian pet store dream of the artist’s childhood. To humor Micotti’s constant fascination with animals, her mother would take her to pet stores as a young girl to look at the animals and buy care guides for all the different pets she wanted. The artist reminisces, “Little did I know that those books were all I’d ever be leaving with.”
Instead, Micotti’s mother would buy her animal companions in the forms of “The Littlest Pet Shop” toy sets - a series of children’s toys at peak popularity in the 1990s. Each toy set came with a small plastic pet and random accessory. Micotti remembers loving and caring deeply for all her new “pets” - and their brightly-colored miniature hair brushes, food bowls, and balls of yarn - as if they were, in fact, real.
This new Pet Store series is the artist’s way of finally owning all the animals she ever wanted as a child, inspired by those many trips to the pet stores with her mother and the disappointingly inanimate care guides and toy sets she amassed instead. Drawing on imaginative childlike whimsy and nostalgic “90s kid” aesthetics, Micotti has recreated these childhood experiences in the form of a fun, bright pet store containing a variety of animals - again, each with their own miniature accessories - all waiting for their new owners to take them home. She is offering both herself and her audience the chance to realize the unfulfilled childhood dreams of pet ownership that we have all similarly suffered. Her fanciful new Pet Store collection allows us all the freedom to “adopt” the pet of our wildest (albeit suburban) fantasies - without a mother’s voice of reason to restrict us.
Due to the Coronavirus pandemic, there will be no opening reception for the exhibition, and the gallery will be closed to the public. The exhibition will be on view through the gallery website. An Instagram live walk through of the show is scheduled for Saturday, May 9th at 3pm Pacific on our sister gallery Spoke Art’s Instagram (@Spoke_Art). For more information, additional images, or exclusive content, please email gallery manager Lyndsie Fox at firstname.lastname@example.org.