new-york

Aziz + Cucher

Jack Shainman Gallery | West 20th Street

The first thing everyone notices about the nude figures in Aziz + Cucher's new series of digitized Ektacolor prints, “Faith, Honor & Beauty,” 1992, is that they appear to have had their penises and vaginas rubbed out. Closer inspection reveals that they also lack nipples and navels. How ever, these mutations of the body are more idealizations than mutilations, more along the lines of those practiced by Polyclitus than by Jeffrey Dahmer. Each of the roughly life-size photographs presents a single figure—generally a handsome, muscular man or pretty, shapely woman—in contrapposto. Echoing historical conventions of portrait painting, each figure in these photographs is identified with or by a thing of some sort: a powerful-looking man with long, dark sideburns holds an M-16 across his massive chest; a woman with straight, straw-colored hair and cherry-red lips parted just enough to reveal a

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