Nic Nicosia

Texas Gallery

Since the start of the decade, Nic Nicosia has made the garish artifice or staginess of his constructed photographs overt and central to the viewer’s experience. In these set pieces, suburban melodramas are typically caricatured as comic tableaux—chaotic scenes of upwardly mobile, middle-class life out of control. The culminating series in this buffo mode is “Near Modern Disasters,” 1983; in “The Cast,” 1985, the actors/entertainers/performers become the subjects (as played by “real” people) of his photographs. The latter series takes a further step in the presentation of reality as pure theater and synthetic display by focusing on the dramas of the players within the photoplay, but at the expense of the pictorial dynamics that consistently animated the previous work. “The Cast” was followed by “Life As We Know It,” 1986, a not-very well-received attempt to shift the mediating form from

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