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tom moody

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"Spiritual America"
East Village Storefront
Through May 21

After famously rephotographing Marlboro ads and presenting them as his art, appropriationist Richard Prince has simulated work by photographer Garry Gross, who has freelanced for Playboy in addition to making his own figurative photography. In an East Village storefront that serves as Mr. Prince's gallery, Mr. Prince has installed a rephotographed version of Gross' image of a nude, prepubescent Brooke Shields, retitling it with the same name as the gallery, "Spiritual America."

The show might be seen as a chance to think about an oeuvre that, while mostly unfamiliar to the art world, remains pertinent to what artists like John Currin, Loretta Lux, and Inez van Lamsweerde are doing these days. Unfortunately, it is easier to see it as an attention-seeking stunt. No one in the small cult of cognoscenti that values Mr. Gross' work is going to care about seeing inexact substitutes, and no serious critical reappraisals of his art should be based on Mr. Prince's ersatz object.

The show might raise interesting questions about art and commerce, but Mr. Prince should make it clear whether he is running a gallery or doing his own conceptual art. Otherwise his project comes off as confused, confusing and duplicitous. KEN JOHNSON

My second parody based on Johnson's takedown of Triple Candie's "Cady Noland Approximately"--the first was Sherrie Levine.

- tom moody 5-15-2006 1:53 am [link]