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David Shapiro and Ben Weiner, Eastern Boys and Western Girls

Kathleen Cullen Fine Arts
526 West 26th Street, Suite 605, 212-463-8500
January 26 - March 3, 2006
Web Site

A two-person show of David Shapiro’s watercolors and Ben Weiner’s oil paintings. Shapiro and Weiner each transform debris from the Western cultural subconscious into elegant visions of glam-trash. They approach subjects of decadence, vanity, and desire with a correspondingly excessive technique.

Shapiro paints single-color watercolors of mass-mediated constructions of Western woman’s iconic glamorous display and Eastern man’s symbolic cultural waste. He renders subjects on either side of this crass divide with an equally subtle tonal touch; effectually revealing Paris Hilton in lace and a Native American man drinking hairspray as two sides of the same coin. Through his transformation of public images into watercolor, a medium with cultural associations to recreation, Shapiro invokes the process by which iconic Pop visions are domesticated and used in the construction of personal identities.

Weiner’s paintings of mannequins, hair gel, and oil paint globs harness the idolatrous fetishistic desire of consumer culture, the fashion industry, and the art world. He transforms such fetishized objects into ambiguous, erotic landscapes of the mind. While the mysterious imagery of the paintings evokes the uncanny, their format plays on high cultural commodification. Each painting, recreated from a standard 4” x 6” snapshot photograph, overwhelms the viewer with its magnified size and forces the viewer to face details up-close that would be overlooked on a smaller scale.
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