This British artist attacks images of celebrities like a meth addict defacing subway posters. Seventy-one small canvases featuring A-listers from Debbie Harry to Pope John Paul II get ravaged: The word “Strike” is finger-painted on Margaret Thatcher’s coal-grimed, scabby forehead; Audrey Hepburn’s skinny features are partially stripped to bloody bone; Shelley Duval’s face torques into madness at the sight of a flower bouquet. Only Liz Taylor withstands the onslaught, a black grid darkly enhancing the smoldering beauty of her youth. In six huge paintings, Judy Garland’s Dorothy leads an army of the dead, poses as a gory corpse, and trundles wheelbarrows filled with gold bricks. Ferocious in intent, content, and execution, these works are perhaps puerile and definitely, defiantly, over the top, but they reify the deranged celebrity obsessions that gave the world Paris Hilton’s sex tapes and John Lennon’s murder.
Tuesdays-Saturdays, 10 a.m. Starts: July 9. Continues through Aug. 8, 2008