One way to humanize a visit to the encyclopedic, often overwhelmingly vast Metropolitan Museum of Art is to make like Ry Rocklen and create clever, DIY-style “replicas” of some of your favorite antiquities. For his exhibition “My Metropolitan,” the L.A.-based sculptor crafted ceramic versions of eight pieces from the Met’s collection; the front of each is flat and covered with a black-and-white photo of the original object, while the back is sculpted or textured in a way that carries a personal connection to Rocklen and/or the history of the original. (Each is perched on a mirrored shelving unit, enabling viewers to closely examine both sides.) The backside of a sculpture of Middle Kingdom pharaoh Senusret III, known for widening an important Egyptian canal, is textured with material Rocklen gathered from the bed of the Los Angeles River. Visitors can listen to the artist recount these backstories via an iPod audio guide available at the gallery’s front desk.–Leigh Anne Miller
Pictured: Ry Rocklen: River King Sonwosret III, Egypt, 1857 B.C., 2015, ceramic vessels, mirror-mounted panel, brass and glass, 32¼ by 32¼ by 9½ inches. Courtesy Feuer/Mesler, New York.