Beyond "Whip It"

"The hole," said Jen Childs, "kind of freaks me out."

Fellow gallerygoers seemed to have mastered this way of looking. Margo Rost likened Head Cheese to "a new planet" rising out of a crib. It reminded her friend Jessica King of "a parasitic twin." Longtime Mothersbaugh fan Doug Welch gave the show "a Duchamp rating of 9.7." Asked what that entailed, Welch elaborated: "heavy Duchampitude."

On our way out, we passed by Wedgie Squared; Cedar Point, Sandusky, in which a woman's two heads squeeze her boyfriend between them. Three Brothers, All With Butterfly Ears, in which all ears seem normal but the middle brother has only one eye. Mystica Seer From Lisboa, circa 1893, in which the seer sports chubby baby arms and a nose about 2 1/2 times too wide.

We took a last look at the crowd. A little girl in a leopard pantsuit grabbed the detachable bottom of another guest's plastic wineglass. "I'm collecting these," she explained. Mothersbaugh and some friends chatted about the removal of parasites. In the corner of the room, we noticed a woman wearing angel wings and remembered an earlier conversation with K.R.K. Ryden, an old friend of Mothersbaugh, who had cast his eyes around the gallery and said, "They're all mutants. They're all beautiful."

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