As an artist, John Riepenhoff deploys the resources and talents he has developed in his many other roles: curator, gallery owner, and art advocate. His miniature exhibition space, The John Riepenhoff Experience, provides a platform for other artists to show their work within the context of Riepenhoff’s own practice.
The experience consists of a wall-mounted viewing box with a hole cut in the bottom. The viewer accesses the box by ascending a ladder and sticking his or her head inside. Once there, the viewer sees a miniature art exhibition featuring tiny art by artists other than Riepenhoff, complete with the white walls and lighting design one would expect from a full-sized gallery. By scaling down the art and its environment, Riepenhoff’s work distills—and, paradoxically, amplifies—the art experience for the single viewer accommodated by the structure. At the same time, within the context of a larger exhibition, the mini-gallery underlines the strategies of display that exhibition spaces use to make art seem more special—the tricks of the artistic trade.