John Currin’s strangely disquieting paintings are depictions of contemporary people, rendered in a style characterized by distortion and elongation that is evocative of the painters of northern Renaissance, early Mannerism, and 20th-century modernism, including Grünewald, Parmigianino, and Picasso. However, the artist turns occasionally to advertising, fashion magazine spreads, kitsch portraiture found in thrift stores, and soft-porn magazines for inspiration. He has also used his own facial features and those of his wife, sculptor Rachel Feinstein, in his portraits. Park City Grill is provocative yet ambiguous, ironic yet dangerously inviting. The artist argues that the best art is ultimately beyond psychology and interpretation. Currin has spoken of visual clichés as a form of recurring truth, and considers that aspect of his work to be an end in itself.
Copyright 2002 Walker Art Center