‘Joshua Saunders: Crip/Blood’
Attaching gang names to mundane objects, the show seems to be one big punch line
Reviewed by Andy Campbell, Fri., Feb. 17, 2012
'Joshua Saunders: Crip/Blood'Domy Books, 913 E. Cesar Chavez, 476-3699
Through March 1
Joshua Saunders' "Crip/Blood" is a reductive and stultifying project – one that uses the names of warring gangs (the titular Crips and Bloods) detached from any kind of social context. The gang names are collaged into rainbows or are painted onto the jerseys of basketball players. There's lots of twee sheen, even a blue-and-red checkered linoleum floor, but little in the way of content. And perhaps that's by design, as the exhibition seems to be one big punch line. Saunders is misappropriation's king, and sometimes this has resulted in the highest visual comedy I've ever witnessed. His artist multiple The Secret Lives of Cocks reproduces small-format photo collages of porno penises chillaxin' in lawn chairs and diving off the high dive. The result is a divine and cheeky send-up of masculinity: "Cocks! They're just like us!" But here, the Slurpee machine in the middle of the exhibition, pumping out (what else?) red and blue Slurpees, only cements the gross carnival treatment of the subject at hand. It's akin to the suburban white kid who pats himself on the back for being able to spell "blood" using both hands ... but you know, people die for that, right, homey?