Review: 'Two Paintings' at Evan Lurie 

4.5 stars

Evan Lurie Gallery; through Aug. 30.

Sometimes a painting grabs you by the shoulders and pulls you closer with a certain amount of violence. Such is the case with the painting "Wolf" by Jorge Santos (oil and acrylic on canvas). This work features what appears to be a grown-up Little Red Riding Hood with possibly her sister (or lover?) on foot on a forested road, with an innocuous looking Manchester Terrier in tow. The name engraved on the collar tag is "Wolf." You can't tell the exact circumstances about what's going on here, but the wide-eyed, fearful look in Little Red Riding Hood's companion is aimed at you. And it's almost like you're transported there with them, into the middle of this dark forest where an eerie, subdued light pervades everything.

You've probably already gather that there is a twisted sense of humor at play in this painting. Whatever you think of this sensibility, you have to acknowledge Santos' technical brilliance. He can be both painterly and photo-real and he is often both at once. Don't miss another painting by another contemporary master, Larissa Morais, on display here. Entitled "Otrebor/Roberto" (oil on canvas), it's a double portrait of the same man where one portrait is half-scraped away to reveal the other, who's wearing a chef's uniform. It's the sort of painting Magritte might have come up with if he'd been a fan of Fox TV's Hell's Kitchen.

click to enlarge Jorge Santos' "Wolf."
  • Jorge Santos' "Wolf."

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