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David Altmejd at Andrea Rosen Gallery, installation view, 2008
Photo by Tom Powel
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by Jerry Saltz

Standing in David Altmejd’s gothic-surreal show is like being in a forest of freakish giants from the dawn of time. Nine 12-foot-tall colossi tower above you like oversize werewolves, rotting Wookiees or sculptures of pharaohs from some sci-fi porn planet. It’s an Oedipal grove of powerful deteriorating fathers and beautiful but monstrous sons. These creatures have mirrored derrières, plump penises decorated as if by a jeweler, gashes in colorful torsos, dozens of hands holding giant testicles or crystalline daggers. One figure has a peacock encircling each thigh; two have twisting energy fields or stigmata sprouting from hands and heads.