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editors review
editor content by: editor
john currin

A touch of crass at London’s Serpentine Gallery.

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Take one look at John Currin's paintings and you could assume he likes stupid women with big tits. Pouting, wide-eyed ingénues look vacantly out of his canvases while ladies in mini-skirts measure each other's immense breasts. There is nothing politically correct here. And yet, on closer inspection, his representation of women isn't so clear-cut.

Currin depicts a bizarre and very American world of ageing divorcees, 70s pin-ups and cliché gay couples. He distils the falsity of TV culture and throws it back in people's faces. Currin wants viewers to feel uncomfortable and enjoy it.

He fuses this very modern approach to his subjects with a kind of classical style which combines the strange, jagged poses and extended bellies of the 16th-century German painter Lucas Cranach, or the hand gestures of Da Vinci, with WASP-ish empty faces. You hate the people he depicts, but you just can't help but love the way they’re depicted. Francesca Gavin 05 September 03

John Currin is at the Serpentine Gallery, London, 09 September – 02 November 03.

useful link: www.serpentinegallery.org

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites.


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