new-york

Steven Gianakos

Droll/Kolbert Gallery

With Steven Gianakos, ideas of conservative and radical are not applicable. He aims for the catharsis of humor, a smutty subversiveness; but, regrettably, his recent exhibition showed he only has one weapon in his arsenal: penguins placed in human situations. In a series of ink-on-museum-board cartoons, Gianakos’ penguins are stars of blue movies, celebrities at a Penguin Premiere, proud owners at Dog Show, and health enthusiasts at The Gym. Gianakos’ penguins aren’t the cute animals wearing tuxes, but rather dimestore, molded-plastic models, their limbs frozen onto a pedestal. They’re oddball stand-ins for various human conditions.

As someone who reads the National Enquirer fairly regularly, I know it’s important for some of us to feel that we’re spiritually and physiologically kindred to animals. This isn’t Gianakos’ intention, because these penguins aren’t cute and charming—they don’t

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