Jason Fox, Marley on Obama, 2010, mixed media on paper, 14 1/4 x 10 1/8".

Jason Fox

Peter Blum Gallery

Jason Fox, Marley on Obama, 2010, mixed media on paper, 14 1/4 x 10 1/8".

It sounds like the setup to a misbegotten revolutionary—or, even worse, adolescent—joke: What do you get if you cross Bob Marley and Barack Obama? But in Jason Fox’s most recent show, the seamless transposition of these quite literal figureheads—carefully rendered atop one another, with the latter’s tidy hairline positioned at the base of the former’s trademark mane—had a surprisingly profound effect, by turns pictorial and social. Appearing at the outset of “Eating Symbols”and recurring in various pieces throughout, this emblematic mash-up managed a slow burn. Like Jasper Johns’s targets and flags, the motif—a pretext for formal experimentation—draws on the reservoir of mass culture, and thus ostensibly lacks personal resonance. Yet it becomes intimate through its claims for subjective interpolation. The near-holographic parallax induced by its

to keep reading

Artforum print subscribers have full access to this article. If you are a subscriber, sign in below.

Not registered for Register here.

SUBSCRIBE NOW for only $50 a year—65% off the newsstand price—and get the print magazine plus full online access to this issue and our archive.*

Order the PRINT EDITION of the April 2012 issue for $17 or the ONLINE EDITION for $5.99.

* This rate applies to U.S. domestic subscriptions.