Bird Brain #1

About Steve Gianakos

Since the late 1960s, Steve Gianakos has been merging innocence and prurience, vulgarity and sophistication in his drawings, collages, and acrylic-on-canvas paintings to reveal the absurd mixture of sexuality and anxiety at the heart of the human condition. His works look like vintage cartoons gone awry: he has depicted pigeon-toed little girls with their skirts up; animals in menacing or lascivious scenarios with people; pin-ups pleasuring bird-brained men; and Jesus getting smacked in the face with a pie. Through humor, Gianakos disarms the viewer into submitting to his deliciously dark and subversive vision of the human psyche. His pared-down imagery, composed of outlines and blocks of color, is deceptively simple. All of his works are shot through with witty references to Pop Art, Surrealism, and abstraction, refined into visions of culture and society fueled by our desires and weaknesses.

American, b. 1938, New York, New York