"Fire Sale on Earth" is the first solo show in Italy by American artist Danny McDonald. The exhibition includes selected pieces produced between 2010 and the present day. McDonald’s sculptural narratives are set on pedestals, shelves or hung on walls. Each scenario is the result of a precarious assemblage of figurines, props, souvenirs and found objects.

Exhibition view, Ordet, Milan

Danny McDonald has long been interested in major and minor heroes and villains, staples of postwar American consumer culture. These figures are repurposed by the artist in ways that complicate their prescribed roles and spotlight their laughable standing.

In the Trump era, grotesque levels of environmental destruction, scandalous plots, distortions and diversion tactics have tested our resistance to accommodating abuse and to the normalization of violence, obscenity and dehumanization.

Some of the characters depicted in the new pieces include Santa Claus on a polar bear rug, a monstrous octopus attacking the Statue of Liberty, a Borg drone breaking into Fort Knox, the Tin Man of Oz in a decimated forest, a shattered Wall Street Bull tumbling down a section of model railroad track, and the Marlboro Man. These figures look startled and spaced-out. Their poses are unseemly and their behavior unprincipled as they linger at the edge of certain doom.

Searching for the Extra Special Terrestrial of the Opera, 2018
Heartbreaker, 2019

Danny McDonald was born in Los Angeles and lives and works in New York. Recent shows include "Search Parameters," Galerie Isabella Bortolozzi, Berlin (2018), "The Beads & Other Objects," Kölnischer Kunstverein, Cologne (2017), and "Male Moments," House Of Gaga, Mexico City (2014).

All images courtesy the artist, Ordet and Galerie Isabella Bortolozzi, Berlin. Ph: Nicola Gnesi

Searching for a Place to Dump Files, 2018, exhibition view, Ordet, Milan
Exhibition view, Ordet, Milan


FIRE SALE ON EARTH. Danny McDonald’s playlist is a selection of musical footnotes to his first solo show in Italy.

  1. American Express TV commercial, 1960s
  2. How Much Is That Doggie in the Window by Freddy Fender, written by Bob Merrill. Released on Are You Ready for Freddy, ABC Dot, 1975
  3. Julie London sings the Marlboro Song, 1950s
  4. Who Will Buy by Nancy Sinatra, written by Lionel Bart. Released on Movin’ with Nancy, Reprise Records, 1967
  5. What Would I Do If I Could Feel? by Nipsey Russell. Released on The Wiz, Geffen Records, 1978
  6. Misty Mountains Cold by Maury Laws. Released on The Hobbit, Buena Vista Records, 1977
  7. One, Two, Freddy’s Coming For You by Charles Bernstein. Released on A Nightmare on Elm Street, Varese Sarabande, 1984
  8. The Phantom of the Opera, performed by Gerard Butler and Emmy Rossum, written by Andrew Lloyd Webber, Charles Hart, Richard Stilgoe, and Mike Batt. Released on The Phantom of The Opera, Sony Music, 2004
  9. They're Here by Jerry Goldsmith. Released on Star Trek: First Contact (Complete Motion Picture Score), Paramount/GNP Crescendo, 1996
  10. The Priests of the Golden Bull by Buffy Sainte-Marie. Released on Coincidence and Likely Stories, Ensign/Chrysalis/EMI, 1992
  11. Too Risky a Day for a Regatta by Stelvio Cipriani. Released on Tentacles, CAM, 1977
  12. Goodbye Chucky / Child's Play — End Credits by Joe Renzetti. Released on Child's Play, Waxwork Records, 1988
  13. The Fire Engine by Bernard Herrmann. Released on Fahrenheit 451, Tsunami, 1995
  14. Snowflakes Are Dancing (Children's Corner, No. 4) by Tomita. Released on Snowflakes Are Dancing, RCA Red Seal, 1974
  15. Corporate Cannibal by Grace Jones. Released on Hurricane, Wall of Sound, 2008

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