new-york

George Dokoupil

Tony Shafrazi Gallery

George Dokoupil’s newest candle paintings of various displaced peoples are based on news photographs. Entitled “The New Immigrants,” his recent show had an aura of journalistic topicality that allowed him to enter the realm of ethically weighted visual art with a vengeance. What could be a more universally viable theme than the suffering of people fleeing their home countries only to enter societies that have trouble accommodating and accepting them?

Does Dokoupil (himself an immigrant to Germany from the Prague Spring of 1968, when Dubçek’s “socialism with a human face” was defaced by Soviet imperialism, and now an immigrant to the U.S., as his Americanization of his name from Jiri Georg to George underlines) artistically live up to the horrendous occasion of his theme? Does his transformation of his documentary photographic sources add anything beyond a certain ironic flair? Certainly

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