“My films exist only to remind audiences the absolute certainty that they do not live in the best of all possible worlds,” once said Luis Buñuel, whose exuberant lens bore some of the most buoyant and triggering representations of 20th century. Anthony Iacono’s Crudités at Sunset, on view at PPOW Gallery through August 7th, imbues sweet guilt of the most lascivious desires throughout humid drenched streets of West Chelsea, reassuring us that there could be more to life than loans and taxes. Collage–the least understood and often overlooked answer to what ‘the next comeback in art’ should be–acts in Iacono’s kinky and lavish hands as a means for uncompromising eroticism and yearning for more beyond consumerist desires.
The monotonously dry and shamelessly corporate lives we lead blend into the quotidian cycle. In Hanging Plant, chandeliers confirm alternate realms–saluting a world of better possibilities as Buñuel articulates–tingling from the brightly pink pierced nipples of a young man.
Iacono’s works refer to the zealously sadomasochistic tone of masters Robert Mapplethorpe or Jimmy De Sana, yet refrain from their sometimes dismal tones through his bright color palate and self-mocking undertone. Whereas, in Fishtank Heels, tiny fishtanks with piscine creatures in warm tones complete a pair of lady pumps while mediating the tension between floor and flesh.
Whether still life oranges, hidden abstracted details or 7 pm sun in summer, sphere-shaped obscure objects quietly repeat throughout the show–sometimes in feisty duello with humankind, such as Grapefruit or Watermelon Crusher, or complementing the preeminent eroticism as in Locked-in.
Perhaps the most overt is Shrimp Cocktail in which the male buttocks serve as a stool for shrimp cocktail. This peculiar harmony between human skin and inanimate object spans throughout the show, cementing Iacono’s landscape of fetishist desires. Earthly delights, from shrimp cocktails to naked young bodies, march in the most desirable scenarios, employing just the right amount of kitsch thanks to the color-dominated mellow collage technique of the artist.