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Review: New works at St. Claude Avenue galleries

Dan Tague's State of Fear and paintings from Peter Hoffman



My cousin, who has lived most of her life in the French Quarter, says she never crosses the river because "there's nothin' but weirdos over there." But I have always liked West Bankers' spirit, and Dan Tague, who curated this State of Fear show at Barrister's Gallery, is a proud son of Marrero. His large photo of his hand flipping his middle finger at Gen. Robert E. Lee's statue illustrates his passion for "repetition of form." It is one of those art theory concepts, here formally relating one shaft to another.   Related passions pervade this dramatically emphatic expo, in works like Rajko Radovanovic's graphics exploring the fetishization of power, and some chillingly Orwellian photographic light boxes by Generic Art Solutions (local trans-Atlantic duo Matt Vis and Tony Campbell), depicting the militarization of urban police forces. A large, vibrant tapestry by Daphne Loney and Ashley Robbins suggests a labyrinthine contour map of a female body with "I Am Not an Object for Breeding" stitched in bold-colored thread. Brian St. Cyr's intricate, swastika-shaped rodent cage sculpture, The Banality of Evil, reminds us that neo-Nazis have felt empowered lately. Jessica Bizer's vividly ornamental poster, Time to Freak Out says it all. Such times call for superheroes, but Christopher Saucedo's Comic Book Diplomacy collage (pictured) reveals a bootleg foreign Superman lost in a maze of alien phrases, proof that undocumented foreign superheroes pose an existential threat to America.

Peter Hoffman's new work at Good Children Gallery is surprising because expressionistic paintings of athletes are fairly rare. Yet, beyond their moments embodying the hopes and dreams of their communities, athletes are only human and their ego-driven foibles lend themselves to expressionist irony in scenes where brassy, Aryan-looking women pump iron or strut their stuff in sleek swimsuits. Their human sides resurface in some whimsical smaller images where they seem to merge into the background amid lush aloe cacti, those languid, jade green succulents that eternally embody the delicate resilience of the flesh.

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