Art Review: Greg Gossel: "Sleepwalking" at White Walls

Standing before a large collage titled Cowboys (Black), which connects a distressed-looking Iron Man with snippets of John Wayne, Princess Diana, and "Pow!" comic-strip blurbs, Greg Gossel proclaims, "I'm playing off ideas of exaggerated masculinity and helpless women." Each of his mixed-media works is a dissection of pop culture, an invitation to scrutinize the semi-obscured images that accompany a central theme. In Dial Your Destiny (Red), a woman straight from a '50s pulp-fiction cover is surrounded by National Enquirer cut-outs, a "Fatal Attraction" crime headline, and old ads promoting women's beauty products. Collages such as Gossel's have an honorable tradition, whether it's Robert Rauschenberg or Mimmo Rotella, the Italian artist whose reworkings of movie posters have inspired Gossel. In "Sleepwalking," the rich and famous (Wayne, Diana, Oprah, Elizabeth Taylor) are relegated to minor roles, superseded by stressed-out Iron Men, the Native American leader Chief Joseph, and other semifamiliar figures. Gossel's reorderings are an inspired and welcome addition to the history of pop-culture collage.

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