Critics’ Picks

Elliott Jerome Brown Jr., Devin in Red Socks, 2016, ink-jet print, 24 x 36".

New York

“Stranger Things”

Outpost Artists Resources
1665 Norman St.
June 9–July 7

Sculptor Doreen Garner extends her inquiries into intimacy, hygiene, latent sexuality, and racialized violence in her first curatorial effort to date. From Chicana punk tattoo artist Tamara Santibañez to Hollywood special-effects animator Erik Ferguson, the artists in this group exhibition hit Garner’s themes from many different angles.

Nakeya Brown’s photo series “If Nostalgia Were Colored Brown,” 2014, presents quietly domestic tableaux peppered with clues to a vibrant life: 1970s disco albums, salon hair dyers, curlers, and a flowerless African violet. In Ted Mineo’s pictures Mist, Not, Shipping, and Ride, all 2017, common objects are rediscovered as otherworldly specimens: Tinted by luscious studio lighting, objects such as rubber gloves and a mound of polymer clay float through bursting galactic droplets. Ferguson’s Day-Glo Untitled Video Compilation, 2017, renders fleshy trunks and monstrous sexual appendages flailing through gleaming digital space. His body-horror animation corresponds with Jes Fan’s futuristic sculpture—leftover props from a performance—Disposed to Add, 2017. Fan’s tub is filled with wet, slug-like silicone tubes that seem as if they’re the remains of some alien surgery.

In Untitled: Bureau, 2017, a sculpture by Garner herself, a wooden dresser bulges with frizzy black hair—her straightforward use of materials falls short of evoking the startling uncanniness her work is known for. Hair is also manipulated by Kenya (Robinson) with her suite of blond-haired brooms. These janitorial tools fitted with dangling synthetic locks, such as Reclining Blue, 2016, are a bitter statement on race and maintenance labor. But the daily negotiation of pain in black life shifts to tenderness with Elliott Jerome Brown Jr.’s photograph Devin in Red Socks, 2016. Here, a young man holds aloft a towel that conceals his torso as he poses in a bedroom. A tiny hole in his sock is a punctum—a wounded doorway for the heart to rush in.