September 19, 2011

Kruger Gets Kardashian’d

He calls them Art Army Royalty, but the action figures that Michael Leavitt makes of well-known artists are not exactly exalted. The sculpted clay figures, on view atJonathan LeVine Gallery, are sometimes more affectionate, sometimes more hostile caricatures that riff on not only the work but also the physical characteristics of the art star in question–so Kara Walker looks uncomfortably similar to the racial stereotypes she skewers in her own work, while Chuck Close is a giant head on a wheelchair. Julian Schnabel looks like Alfred E. Neuman. Koons and Murakami come of as some of the more cuddly creators;Cindy Sherman and Richard Serra the least. Then there’s Barbara Kruger, who appears naked but for the text bars that obscure her body in strategic regions–an apparent homage to her controversial cover for W, where she did the same to Kim Kardashian. Whose body is a battleground now?

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