NORA LIGORANO and MARSHALL REESE have collaborated together as Ligorano/Reese since the early 80's. Their work examines contemporary trends in society and the media through the manipulation of images and sound from print, television, internet, and radio sources.
Their sculptures and installations often use objects that signify truth and authority, incorporating miniature LCD screens in bibles, medieval books and clocks. For a recent body of work, the artists invented micro projection systems to display Hollywood war films (.22 mm wide) on the head of a pin and archival film scenes of refugees in Central Europe and in the Middle East on the moving counterweight of a metronome.
Since 2000, they've created a series of installations and prints that investigate portraiture as a system of personal and social representation. Line Up (2004-5), their series of portraits of Bush administration officials, acknowledges that the mug shot has become the preeminent form of portraiture in America now that more people are incarcerated there, than any other country in the world. The artists debuted Line Up, selling it as a postcard book on the streets of New York during the Republican convention in 2004. Now in its third edition, they have printed and sold more than 5,000 copies.
In 2001, they launched www.pureproductsusa.com, the online retail website for their infamous political art series, the Pure Products of America. Since 1992, Ligorano/Reese have made 11 multiples in signed editions of 3 to 100. Several of the Pure Products became media sensations, featured internationally in newspapers and television. These works became so noteworthy that in 1995, the Republican National Committee threatened the artists with a lawsuit over their Contract with America underwear. In June, 2007, Ligorano/Reese premiered a new line of political ringtones and celphone wallpaper for Working Assets called "The BushTones."
During their residency at Montalvo, they are working on a series of digital prints concerned with lunar real estate, and programming and prototyping a tapestry of light, woven from fiber optic threads and full spectrum color LEDs. Their print "Untitled, 2001" is on exhibit at part of "The Landscape of War" exhibition at the San Jose Institute of Contemporary Art.
Ligorano/Reese installations, limited edition multiples and artists books have been exhibited at the Cleveland Museum of Art, Museum fur Angewandte Kunst (MAK) in Frankfurt, Germany, MIT MediaLab, Museum of Arts & Design, the Neuberger Museum of Art, the Rotunda Gallery, Kent Gallery, Jim Kempner Fine Art, The Kitchen, the Sculpture Center, and Lincoln Center. They have received fellowships and funding from the Jerome Foundation, NYFA, NYSCA, the NEA and Art Matters.
In the news
- Library exhibit features 'mug shots' of President Bush, White House officials
- 'Mug Shots' of Bush Administration on Display at NYPL
- Fox: Library's White House mug shots might confuse little kids