Los Angeles

Chris Wilder

Linda Cathcart Gallery

Snot-nosed yet affable, young and bored to death, the character Chris Wilder broadly sketches in his latest outing enjoys swap meets, the Butthole Surfers, thinking about bugs, and watching daytime television. As personas go, his is not entirely unattractive. The problem is that Wilder doesn’t lend the sketch much detail; he doesn’t describe so much as broadcast what’s already a threadbare stereotype. Compiled from an array of abject artifacts, such as brightly colored fake-fur pillows and shag-carpet toilet-seat covers, Wilder’s work avoids the look of self-important art, suggesting instead a Romper Room for disaffected youth (CD-player and TV set included). We’re meant to regard this scene as the artist’s natural habitat, a teenage hangout-cum-science lab where cheap gags are invented out of cultural backwash. But Wilder is so anxious to impress us with his bad-boy self, he emphasizes

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