John Currin, Lake Place, 2012

Andreja Velimirović succinctly writes that Currin’s work “can be found at the crossroads where old masters of painting techniques and 20th-century kitsch collide into a single blend. His figurative compositions mix humor with traditional painterly skills, earning Currin many comparisons with artists ranging from Breugel to Rockwell. The satirical way John is able to tackle his topics makes him rather characteristic and recognizable, especially when you include the provocative and sexual nature of his pieces.”
In this work the woman at center (whose features are straight out of a Rococo painting) exposes herself to us while the other figures fondle and paw over her. The three look at her and she looks at us and we look at her pre-pubescent crotch. The scene is set in an expensive interior, yet it seems gaudy – perhaps because the décor does not match. The men are fully clothed, yet the women are half-nude. The central woman smiles but we get the impression that this smile is false, meant to hide her uneasiness of the situation. Are we looking at Rococo porn?!

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