new-york

Julie Wachtel

Diane Brown Gallery

For several years Julie Wachtel has been juxtaposing images, which are based on kitschy greeting-card illustrations, with silk-screened reproductions of photographs. Although she has switched from making simple one- and two-panel pieces to making pieces involving suites of four and six panels, she’s never stopped fiddling around with the ways in which caricature can reflect and distort emotional states.

Her appropriated and gaudily dressed little men, women, and children, some wearing alcoholic halos of bubbles, others with goofily startled, horny, or befuddled expressions, have a needling, funhouse-mirror effect. Wachtel’s latest pieces present more of the same. In encore, 1988, two panels show identical tinted photographs of the comedian Tim Conway wearing a silly costume. They bracket a carefully painted, tacky panel of an overexcited, cutesy dwarf. Conway’s reputation as a sidekick in

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