New York

Basil Wolverton

Gladstone Gallery | West 21st St

“Fangs Finkelstein has snappers that are always in demand by meat tenderizer services, but his ambition is to become the world’s greatest orthodontist.” The caption to Basil Wolverton’s 1971 drawing Fangs Finkelstein goes some way toward contextualizing its grotesque extremity, but the image’s comic intent does little to mitigate its capacity to induce profound discomfort. The subject’s upper row of teeth emerges from not only his gum but also from his ears and nostrils, projecting downward like enormous tusks. Cracked, misaligned, and misshapen (though in one instance repaired with an improvised patch), they suggest the kinds of radical abnormalities collected by Ripley and tabulated by Guinness. But Mr. Finkelstein isn’t even the most out-there of Wolverton’s characters; take a look at Linus Sinus, or Sidney Kidney, or Pete Feet.

Curated by artist and “backyard anthropologist” Cameron

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