The Mexican (Chelsea Remix)


Daniel Guzmán’s double show is so laid-back that it can leave you wondering what (if anything) is going on. More effort seems to have been exerted on the title—”Or, Like a Vinyl Record, Two Sides of the Same Thing”—than the art, until you catch the spacey links between Guzmán’s groovy-music nostalgia and the “mercantile . . . chaos” of street stalls and pirate CDs that he says inspires him. In “Side A: Thieves Like Us,” at Lombard-Freid (531 West 26th Street, through June 5), a big black shopping bag with eyes stares down at us as we peruse a collapsed box cornered by bottles of tequila, two stacks of newspapers topped by addled self-portrait candle busts, a few drawings of album covers, and a crash-pad couch laid out with gold chains. But the video loop of a misfit hipster bopping down a Mexico City street, setting passersby grooving to the beat, is inexplicably unforgettable. So is the video in “Side B: NY Groove” at Trans>Area (511 West 25th Street, through June 30), in which the artist’s nephews make a game of displaying homemade signs with song lyrics. This flip-side show, which also includes a pirated-music jukebox, an installation of drawings, and the artist’s renditions of old favorites, makes the whole free-trade bootleg endeavor perfectly clear.

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