Todd Schorr’s Neverlasting Miracles opening Night Report 

by Silke TudorPosted on

Fossil Fools

Hi-Fructose writer Silke Tudor gives us a report from the opening of Todd Schorr’s solo show Neverlasting Miracles opening at the Merry Karnowski Gallery.

A keen throng of art lovers braved split pea-sized hail and St. Patrick’s Day drivers to reach the Merry Karnowsky Gallery in West Hollywood on Saturday night. Behind this tall darkened doorway, a side-show barker offered ballyhoo to a little kid eating cotton candy; a gelatinous swamp monster stalked oblivious teenage lovers; Yosemite Sam emerged like smoke from a magic genie’s lamp; the Big Bad Wolf threatened to slit Porky Pig’s neck; and Peter Pan reconsidered the Fountain of Youth in which Ponce de Leon sat transformed from a pooh-stained skeleton into a cigar-smoking baby with five o’clock shadow. This is Neverlasting Miracles, the much anticipated new offering from pop surrealist Todd Schorr. 

Neverlasting Miracles

The exhibit features seven huge paintings through which a viewer might tumble, landing splayed before an evil Tinkerbell in Schorr’s fantastic and slightly perverse world. But it is, of course, our own world which Schorr reflects. In Neverlasting Miracles, the phantom of our Neanderthal DNA is made evident, not just in the suggestion of our animalistic urge towards sex and violence, but in the proliferation of the caveman as an image. A modern-day blonde bombshell drapes herself across a bruiser with a prominent brow in a prehistory Eden; the shapely strong-woman on the sideshow stage is covered in fine fur; and, despite their cell phones and sunglasses, the delinquent sweethearts awaiting the boggy embrace, also wear animal pelts and bones in their hair. Schorr has said that his paintings are a little like freeze frames of an elaborate cartoon. If you pay close enough attention you might get the punch line. To enhance your experience of, both, the story and Schorr’s meticulous process, each large canvas is accompanied by acrylic color studies and graphite drawings. These smaller works are delightful and desirable in their own right, but seem purposely set up to lure you into complacency. Truthfully, seeing the table-top version of Antidote For a Worrisome World cast in bronze resin can not prepare anyone for the full-scale sculpture in the back gallery. Standing nine feet and weighing over 300 pounds, the big Antidote is a Technicolor ode to Humpty-Dumpty. It wears a crown and holds a slightly despondent pet vulture in one hand that does little to offset the single bloodshot eye in the center of its shell. So moist and bulbous is this orb, that when sculptor Jordu Schell (the man helped Schorr realize his vision) walked up and rubbed his hand across its surface, we cringed. Not because he was touching the artwork, but because we could practically feel the sting of his finger. – Silke Tudor

The Hidden Neanderthal

Joe Ledbetter and Giorgia Mannucci

Record producer and art curator Brad Benedict

Artist Greg ‘Craola’ Simkins and his wife Jenn

Attaboy, Annie Adjanovich, and Greg Escalantes

Artist KMNDZ who’ll be showing at the gallery with Craola next month

The Last Expedition of Commander Peary

Lessons in Ballyhoo

Todd Schorr and Fan

The artist himself, Todd Schorr

Sculptor Jordu Schell who collaborated on Schorr’s masterpiece

Last Gasp’s Colin Turner and his friend Wyatt

Antidote for a Worrisome World (study)

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