Biennial hot flash: best of show

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This is the biennial of lists, we decided after seeing it the other day at the press preview. Here is our first list for you. Libby and Roberta’s picks for best of show.

1. Tam Van Tran (image shown below left) whose wedding of chlorophyl and office stationary dazzles with sensual va va va voom.

2. Olav Westphalen (shown above right) whose sculptures and wall pieces we’re still trying to deconstruct. Westphalen puts the Gilbert and George into George Segal-like freestanding figures. It’s the men in black and blue in chains. On the wall it’s 1950’s book illustration gone awry. Again, we’re still deconstructing.

3. Liz Craft, who put life back into bronze (or should we say death) with her “Death Rider (Libra)” on a motorcycle. We want to order a couple. One for Pisces, one for Aquarius. Her dying old mermaid was so transgressively anti-bimbo it took our breath away.

4. Mark Handforth (shown bottom right) , for his blue collar, I-95 affect. (A beer drinker in a cocaine world he brought the everyday world in to a show that was overwhelmingly fey and faux in subject matter).

5. Ernesto Caivano whose Japanese-influenced story-telling ink drawings were technical tour de forces (and gave you a lot of birds for your money).

6. James Siena who if he hasn’t been at Gallery Joe should be for his obsessive systematic drawings and paintings which were beauties.

7. Jim Hodges whose scissor-wizardry on a photograph of a sylvan scene felt new.

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