state is pleased to present Fantasy Island, by artist Kelly Inouye in her San Francisco debut solo show. The exhibition features an immersive room-sized installation along with a series of large-scale and smaller figurative works inspired by the premise of Aaron Spelling and Leonard Goldberg’s popular television series.
Airing weekly on ABC from 1977 to 1984, Fantasy Island, the television show, invited visitors to live out their wildest dreams on an island created specifically for that purpose. The show’s cautionary tales of excess, ego and desire – themes ripe for the Reagan era – offer an interesting parallel to our 21st century experience. Inouye’s works both reflect these parallels and highlight a time when network television dominated the pop-culture landscape. In contrast to today’s personalized “fantasy islands” accessed in the palms of our hands, social media’s fabricated realities, and choose-your-own-adventure style news, this exhibition draws the viewer into a contemplative space on the nature of representation, escapism and nostalgia. Inouye’s large-scale paintings, luminous at certain moments of day, abstract in the close-up, loosely realistic at a distance, populate the gallery with characters and motifs from the television show, offering kitschy wisdom, cautionary moralistic prescriptions for living, and a reminder not to forget your dreams.