“It has an instant synergy with the audience,” curator Nora Atkinson says of “Devil Horns.” “You can imagine putting this piece on and wearing it.”
Crystal Might: The quartz crystals at the top of the piece counteract its threatening, stabby aura. “It’s very tongue-in-cheek,” Atkinson says. “There’s this healing sense that comes from the crystals. It’s aggressive and healing at the same time.”
An Old Hand: This isn’t the first time Baxter has worked with this theme: “Devil Horns” is actually part of a series that began in 2009. “It started with a wonderful piece called ‘Crystal Brass Knuckles (I am going to realign your chakras motherf—er,)’ ” Atkinson says. It continued with “Crystal Brass Knuckles II” and “Devil Horn Crystal Brass Knuckles (mosh safely).”
Good Fit: “It really is a wearable piece of art,” Atkinson says. (In fact, Baxter’s work often appears in fashion magazines.) “I wanted to focus on bringing in a lot of objects that are both capital-A art and capital-C craft and allow people to traverse those different ideas.”
Break It Up: “It’s not entirely threatening,” Atkinson says. “If you punched someone with it, you’d probably do as much damage to the piece as you would to the person.”
Renwick Gallery, 1700 Pennsylvania Ave. NW; opens Fri., free.
Read more exhibit stories from Express: