For artist Jason Yates, mounting a solo show in Detroit is a homecoming of sorts. Fitting, then, that Homemade Ice Cream, a series of large-scale, interrelated, interdisciplinary sculptures, creates a life-sized playhouse of disturbing, funny, and monochrome domestic scenes.
“It’s nothing if not kind of a weird retrospective of all my stuff,” Yates said during a walk through the gallery with Hyperallergic. Visitors to Wasserman Projects are greeted at the gallery’s entrance by one of Yates’s recurring motifs — an oversized, teary-eyed basset hound. Perhaps it is instantly recognizable to some, but it seems less important to Yates that visitors are able to directly identify the character as a scaled-up, matte-blackened version of the crying basset hound coin-collection banks used by the Humane Society to gather change in Salvation Army stores — in fact, it seems preferable that people simply see it as an iconic or eerily familiar dog character. In this case, it represents the family dog, standing guard alongside a wash line of blackened clothing, outside a shanty-sized all-black gingerbread house.