New York

Paul Rosin

Edward Thorp Gallery

The least interesting aspect of these very interesting photographs is the much-commented-upon intimation of sexual deviancy that runs through them. More intriguing is the cloak of uncanniness Rosin throws over his figures, especially his way of making them seem like puppets dangling from strange psychic strings, about to be jerked into action by some odd inner necessity. There are, in fact, several real puppets here, as in Ringmaster, 1989, an image of a toy made sinister by Rosin’s tenebristic treatment of it (in part realized through the application of oil paint to the photograph). In Pact (With Girlfriend), 1989, a disturbingly human-looking doll’s head is given a “Minimalist” black line across its mouth—an abstract gag—so that it appears simultaneously in bondage and in anguish. As with many of the works, there seems to be a story lurking behind the image, but the piece doesn’t need

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