In America, divisions between class, not to mention political and religious ideology, are growing more pronounced in contrast. Yet there’s a pervasive underlying democratic myth that economic and social status are available to all. The idea is embedded in TV shows like the reality series The Simple Life, where heiresses laughably attempt to make an honest buck like blue collar folks. In mainstream magazines mass audiences are desensitized to the idea that a pair of denim jeans should cost $500 or designer yoga mats are worth twice that.

With her artwork, Angelica Muro is less concerned with objects themselves than in crossing the psychosocial codes of class and identity. She imagines a universe where the signals short circuit, and the signifiers of hard, low wage labor – jobs with life threatening duties – are mixed with those of luxury goods. What she shows us could be an impossible merger of the high end corporate merchandising juggernaut LVMH (Moet Hennessy - Louis Vuitton) and the labor safety bureaucracy called OSHA. There isn’t a chance in hell that these two would ever have any formal connection in reality, but the psychic space this intersection describes is actually well in effect.

Muro often exploits the messages of the beauty industry to make her points visually, and it’s an apt metaphor. Yet Muro’s work is hardly skin deep. There’s a compelling sense of tenuousness to her drawings and photographs of prettified toxic substances and cut-rate luxury goods. The balance teeters between one end of the class spectrum and the other, and Muro captures the anxiety of the movements with vivid precision.