In a general sense, it could be said that the 'Coke Can Cross' is a classic Tony Tasset in the way that it looks into systems of value, and the 'icon value' present in both the consumer product and the religious symbol. This exploration of systems of value is endemic to Tasset's entire creative history, exploring both high and low culture, and forcing a synthesis between the two whenever possible.
On a surface level the piece obviously can be read as a critique of consumerism and mass market brand worship, but in a more granular sense Tasset is interested in considering the history of arts patronage (including religious institutions commissioning art), the degree to which people form identity around consumer choices (the fact that it's 'Diet Coke' rather than classic Coca Cola seems especially relevant), and even the degree to which mass-production has homogenized the objects we live with (including even religious symbols mass-produced for places of worship globally).
Meticulously produced to Tasset's exacting standards, the piece is not simply found objects gathered together in assemblage, but instead, is a perfect recreation made in cast aluminum, and painted to capture the exact labeling of the original cans. This precision and hyper-detailed simulation further calls into question the conceptual motif of valuation, the labor spent to make the piece possible addressing some question of its validity as a venerated art object. The solid cast aluminum body has physical heft as would a bronze or marble sculpture, a verifiable sensory 'value' to those would would handle it, feeling dramatically unlike the consumer product it's modeled after.

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Kavi Gupta Gallery
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