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PRINT January 1992

PEPÓN OSORIO'S PLASTIC HEAVEN

WHEN YOU LOOK UP at Pepón Osorio’s El Chandelier (The chandelier, 1988), you can hardly believe your eyes. It’s a chandelier all right, but decorated with a thousand tiny knickknacks. There are toy cars and squirt guns, dominoes and swans, plastic saints, plastic lepers, plastic rhinos and giraffes and monkeys. The light bulbs are surrounded with little plastic palm trees and set in golden cups from which kewpie dolls peep out, some in turbans, some in straw hats. On every perch there hover little white doves, little brown ballerinas. From every arm of the chandelier plastic babies dangle, wrapped in white blankets and tied with ribbons, some pink, some blue. Looping from arm to arm are swags of pearls, cascades of fringe. And sticking out here and there—pièce de résistance—are plastic fingernail extenders, disembodied fingertips with scarlet nails, simultaneously pointing at and beckoning

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