In these days of big box store consumerism the illusory allure of abundance is a key form of merchandising. That’s what makes the carefully arranged aisles of Home Depot and Wal-Mart an art supply mother lode for Carolyn Mason, an artist who mines them for visual appeal and social commentary. Her sculptures are playful and insidious hybrids that stem from her bemusement of the fact that store shelves are filled with dizzying arrays of seemingly utilitarian items tarted up for consumer seduction. Why, she muses, is one brand of paint roller a minty fresh green while another is candy fluff pink? No product, regardless how mundane its purpose, is free of the manufacturer’s attempt to lure buyers with glamorizing aesthetic flourishes. Building the bigger, flashier mousetrap is a ubiquitous occurrence.

Mason makes sculptures that push this very real capitalist scenario a few steps further towards absurdity. She imagines and creates glittering, over-scaled fantasy versions of common tools for painting and cleaning (though she slips in off-the-shelf Readymades that affirm the absurdity). In her work, there’s a healthy tension between the idea of improvement and excess. Do we really need 30 models of paint rollers with various colors and fibers? Often these materials emit mixed messages – industrial objects are designed to be comely enough to be vanity table fixtures, and vice versa. Mason’s objects, displayed with the tropes of contemporary retail etiquette, are akin to mutant merchandise. It is as if the paint rollers developed the equivalent of assembly line cancers. Her aberrant objects are wonderful, horrible things that will have you scratching your head in disbelief, while simultaneously recognizing that you want one.