• Alexis Smith

    Margo Leavin Gallery

    “Words to Live By,” the title of Alexis Smith’s recent exhibition, is an apt designation for the texts adorning the fourteen collages, all from 1999, in the show. In an eponymous work that appears to be an airbrushed painting of Elizabeth Taylor as Cleopatra, Smith has affixed a lavender sleeping mask and the dust jacket from Amy Vanderbilt’s Everyday Etiquette, all packaged in a gilded frame, behind glass painted with the words “Never fear being vulgar, just boring.” Words to Live By exemplified the sense of humor running through the show (Smith’s first solo gallery effort in five years),

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  • Elizabeth Peyton

    When I was a little boy, the first time I saw David Bowie on television, I had no clue who he was, but I was captivated by his aura. It wasn’t specific to his celebrity status or reputation as a gender bender. I could see right there, in his figure, a conception of masculinity very different from the one I had been exposed to. I had a similar experience when I watched Mick Jagger for the first time, and later when I read Oscar Wilde. As I came to know more about these figures, however, their power to convey complex notions of masculinity became stymied by their publicly prescribed roles. With

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  • “Spellbound”

    Karyn Lovegrove Gallery

    Perhaps as a result of having grown up watching Bewitched as often as possible, I’m fascinated by TV magic, from the sweet but toothless moral repetitions of Sabrina the Teenage Witch to the new-age banalities and annoying sisters of Charmed. I watch Buffy the Vampire Slayer weekly with friends, taking great pleasure in Willow’s learning the intricacies of casting a spell (her confidence in the world, her belief in herself, are in sympathetic relation to the success and power of her incantations). Like Rimbaud, part of writer-producer Joss Whedon’s genius has been to find, within teen angst and

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