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SVA MFA Thesis Exhibit

Teenage Daydream Bedroom: An Interview with Nick Alciati on “xoxo, Darlene”

by Emily Colucci on July 1, 2016
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Artist Nick Alciati’s bedroom installation xoxo, Darlene feels immediately familiar to anyone who was a teenager in the early 2000s. Photographs of Britney Spears, Christina Aguilera, Madonna and Alicia Keys almost completely paper the walls. Trendy clothes lie strewn on the bed and floor. High school yearbook photos are wedged in a mirror above a row of cutesy thrift store tchotchkes. Even if your bedroom wasn’t a pink shrine to mainstream pop culture, Alciati’s contribution to the SVA Photo, Video and Related Media’s 2016 MFA Thesis Exhibition is accurate enough to spark memories of classmates’ similar spaces.

Between images ripped from magazines, Alciati hangs posters of his glamorous alter ego Darlene. Darlene, with her long auburn hair, sultry poses and crop tops that reveal just a little chest hair, represents Alciati’s attempt to embody the pop idols he worshiped as a teenager in Syracuse, New York. In addition to the cheesy centerfold photographs, Alciati also presents Darlene’s recreation of three music videos from that era–Britney Spears’ Everytime, Mariah Carey’s Honey and Ashanti’s Rock Wit U (Awww Baby).

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