But the living room is really dominated by the mixed-media sculpture Portrait of George Porcari (1995), which consists of four adjacent five-level bookshelves filled with books and a few other miscellaneous objects. Porcari was acquisitions librarian at California's Art Center School of Art and Design when Pardo studied there, and the artist worked as his assistant from 1986 to 1996. The sculpture is both a private library and a very public portrait of that library's owner.
For any book lover or avid reader, I suppose, perusing the collection is eerily intimate. Someone's library, whether it's books, CDs, or DVDs, says a lot about the person, and we may feel privileged to gain access to such knowledge, or we may feel as if we have violated a deeply personal space. For my part, after noticing what seemed to be an uncanny overlap between Porcari's collection and my own, I felt a creeping sense of being on display myself. "Jorge Pardo: House" got under my skin and stayed there for days. It's that kind of show.