new-york

Ken Graves

OK Harris

In 12 small, mixed-media collages, many of which incorporate images culled from popular culture journals dating from the ’30s through the ’50s, Ken Graves throws a monkey wrench into the visual mythmaking machinery that perpetuates the American dream by manipulating the very images that create and sustain it.

Graves, who is best known as a photographer, turns his sharp but reserved wit on the middle class in all its glory, targeting the paradoxes inherent in bourgeois social ritual. Images documenting such activities as home movies, viewing sports, and ballroom dancing become fodder for Graves’ surrealistic rearrangement of the reality they originally portrayed. One of his tactics is the conflation of adult and childlike behavior, that humorously levels social intercourse to its lowest infantile denominator. In . . . And When Do They Take Their Naps?, 1987, a man, a woman, and a child appear

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