We Want One of Local Artist Christina Kenton’s Fanciful Bic Lighter Sculptures

We’re a pretty satisfied bunch, but that doesn’t mean we aren’t covetous. Sometimes we see things out there that we just must have. Cool Things We Want is an archive of those earthly desires.

Super fun, imaginative, playful, hand-built and meticulously painted, functional even—we want one of these fanciful lighter protectors by Christina Kenton.

Enter Mónica Reyes Gallery and delve into Vancouver-based artist Christina Kenton’s dream world. Kenton first started making her lighter protectors to protect them from nights left out in the cold, after which they’d stop working. These are not ordinary sleeves though. They begin with a hand-sewn case, are then built up with canvas and found objects, and finally painted over with intricate patterns to create elaborate dioramas of animals and objects.

Gallery owner/director Mónica Reyes explained that the repetitive painting is a form of therapy for the artist’s chronic vertigo. Kenton, a self-taught artist with quite a following within the Vancouver artist community, has been making these sculptures for over a decade.

Several sculptures sold on opening night but with 54 on view in the exhibition, there are still plenty of sculptures to choose from: Animals of all kinds (some naughty, some nice), horses, rats, cats, unicorns, goats, a swan, a pig; random objects like an 80s telephone, a dentist’s mouth model with braces, an apple with cigarettes coming out of it, a bust of Beethoven.

The sculptures range in price from $190-$880. There’s a sense of fun and humour to them. They’re useable, if so inclined, and the lighters are replaceable!

My bic pick is ‘Sinking Feeling’: black heart-shaped sunglasses painted with white marks, with the lighter, painted pink, hidden behind the bridge of the frames. The legible text reads ‘BAD BALANCE…QUICK FIDGET…ALWAYS’.

Sinking Feeling | $225
Canvas, acrylic, found object, cigarette lighter | 3.5 x 6 x 6 inches
CHRISTINA KENTON: LUCID DREAMS OF VERTIGO
ON UNTIL MAR 28 | MÓNICA REYES GALLERY

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