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Dig Your Own Hole
1997



   Titled "What Is That Is the Worm inside You?," this exhibition is the first New York solo show by Michael Bevilacqua, a New York artist whose paintings lately have received considerable attention in group shows, including the traveling exhibition, "It's Only Rock and Roll." Bevilacqua's hard-edge, figurative canvases painted with fluorescent colors are packed with corporate and rock-and-roll band logos. Snozzberry Swizzler is a long horizontal canvas that features a fragment of the Gucci logo over a ground of Kenneth Nolandish stripes and stylized purple and yellow race-car flames. Perhaps the most astonishing works in the show are those based on scenes from Matthew Barney's 1994-95 film, Cremaster 4. The large painting Dig Your Own Hole shows Barney's so-called Faeries, in orange wigs and blue jumpsuits, carving a large hole on a pier, an early scene in the film. The upper left portion of the canvas is tightly packed with fragments of corporate logos, as well as a logo for the band Oasis. In these brilliant canvases it seems as if Bevilacqua has succeeded in creating a bit of instant art history. By transforming such a recent work as Cremaster 4 into a pop icon, Bevilacqua reminds viewers of, among other things, the speed at which culture can be assimilated.

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