Head Games 

Head Games
March 6 to April 17
Revolution Art Gallery

It can be disturbing to see a 13-year-old girl dressed up like Britney Spears, with tight, low-cut jeans, tight shirts, makeup and jewelry. It’s just sad. Aren’t little girls supposed to be collecting bugs from under rocks, playing sports and sending notes in class to their girlfriends — or reading?

Perhaps the only thing scarier than seeing little girls dressed up like Spears is to see them dressed up like Courtney Love. I’ve experienced this in Portland and in New York City and I wouldn’t recommend it. That disjointed, uncomfortable pathos for lost youth is a bit of what Los Angeles artist Laura London serves up with her portraits, which depict little girls with dark lipstick all over their faces, wigs, rock star clothing, beers and expressions that say, “Yeah, kiss off if you don’t like it.”

London’s photographs turn cultural images of sexy rock stars on their heads. At first glance, the photos could be album covers, and some of the girls look pretty sweet. On closer inspection, you see how young they are. London’s photos play with self-image vs. cultural image in the world of girls. And it makes you ask yourself why our society encourages little girls to look, for lack of a better term, like hookers.

London’s portraits are part of a group show at the Revolution Gallery in Ferndale called Head Games. The exhibit brings together six American artists that use the human head in their artwork.

Ruth Marten of New York displays expressive hairstyles as statements of individuality on paper and in egg tempura paintings. Brian McCutcheon of Philadelphia uses barbeques, sporting goods, electrical gadgets and cars to illustrate, with humor, male rites of passage and consumerism. For this exhibit, he’s created a double self-portrait, with his silhouette reflected on a car hood in metallic lime green and black paint.

Ceramic artist Howard Kottler and New York portraitist Jenny Dubnau, along with Detroit painter Peter Williams, also have works in the show.

 

The opening for Head Games is Friday from 5 to 7 p.m. Revolution is at 23257 Woodward and is open Tuesday through Saturday from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Call 248-541-3444.

Lisa M. Collins is the arts editor of Metro Times. E-mail lcollins@metrotimes.com.

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