In his raucous and performative work across a variety of media—including sculpture, ceramics, photography and video—Anthony Sonnenberg addresses art history, artifice, sincerity, spirit, and queer life. This elaborate installation brings together hand-crafted brass flora, swaths of silken fabric, tassels, tchotchkes, artificial flowers, real and fake antiques, photographs, and repurposed party decor into a riotously gilded composition. Sonnenberg gives Baroque art—which flourished in Europe from 1590 to 1740 and was hallmarked by grandeur and flamboyance—his own exuberant twist. This exhibition’s title references the iconic 1978 funk disco hit by the gender-nonconforming singer and musical artist, Sylvester. Through his work, Sonnenberg celebrates these histories. While he romances the Baroque, Sonnenberg also creates space for viewers to participate; gallery visitors are invited to step behind the façade and look out through the central portrait, surrounded by golden extravagance.
Anthony Sonnenberg earned a BA in Studio Art with an emphasis in Italian and Art History from the University of Texas at Austin in 2009 and received an MFA in Sculpture at the University of Washington in 2012. Recently, he has been an Adjunct Professor in Ceramics at Hendrix College. His work has been seen in solo and group exhibitions at Conduit Gallery in Dallas; the Contemporary Arts Museum Houston; Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art, Bentonville; and The Craft Contemporary, Los Angeles.