PopCentric Gering & Lopez, through September 8
Since Willem de Kooning’s portraits of Marilyn Monroe, artists have been messing around with popular culture in an adulterous, love-hate relationship. Gallerist Sandra Gering and modern-day Pop painter Michael Bevilacqua curate PopCentric, a survey of different contemporary approaches to Pop by 13 artists. Fischerspooner, the internationally beloved electro-pop band that doubles as performance artists, screen the video for their new single ‘Get Confused’, a glam-camp extravaganza. The graffiti artist KAWS is moving in the opposite direction, off the street and into the gallery with his new paintings: ribald mash-ups of ghoulish, candy-colored imagery. Liz Craft’s two bronze sculptures, Hairy Guy Lying Down and Hairy Guy with Binoculars, are portraits of her own charming cartoon character, Hairy Guy, a cylindrical body of hair with pink gangly limbs. Representing consumer culture’s latent nihilism is The Prophet, Christian Lemmerz’s limited edition, trophy-sized gold statue of Osama Bin Laden as Jesus, a final blow to all things sacrosanct.
Generation 1.5 Queens Museum, through December 2
Immigrants who are born in their native land but emigrate in their youth earn the nickname ‘Generation 1.5’ for their unique fluency in two cultures. The eight artists at the Queens Museum are all ‘1.5’ and work with the inevitable tension of having a foot in both worlds. Jamaica-born New Yorker Nari Ward’s multimedia work Salvage Research Soul Training stars an oversized parrot puppet who sings karaoke songs and repeats a bewildering diatribe of official statistics, odd quotes, and puzzling reflections. An elegant black-and-white film The Last Word by Iranian filmmaker Shirin Neshat depicts the hypothetical interrogation of an female artist, not unlike Neshat herself, whose work poses a threat to a government’s legitimacy. Born in Argentina to Thai parents and raised in Malaysia, Ethiopia, and Canada, Rirkrit Tiravanija produced a hand-painted copy of his passport and myriad visas, a testament the artist’s complex personal history and globe-trotting artistic practice.