Review: 'Cherubic Intervention' at Big Car

"Gusher" by Heather Accurso.

3.5 stars

Big Car Gallery, through Oct.


The didactic text for Heather

Accurso's Cherubic Intervention

describes the artwork with the description "contemporary cherubic angels

sprouting botanical projections protect humans and nature from today's

threats."This invites an

interesting reckoning with that which our culture holds perhaps most dear of

all — human babies. Normally thought of as constantly needing nurturing

and care, Accurso's babies now rescue us adults from mostly self-imposed harm

and the protected become the protectors.

This interesting shift in

perspective calls into focus the fact that babies are unquestionably thought of

as symbols of purity and innocence, and when this paradigm is bastardized or

reversed — see dead baby jokes, Eraserhead and Rosemary's Baby — the results can be downright chilling.

Cherubic Intervention may evoke just such a sense in viewers. Despite

their heroic actions, there is something decidedly creepy about the babies

portrayed in this group of artwork, and I left the show feeling bewildered and

strange. The fact that Accurso's drawings have the power to evoke such

ponderings and emotions is a testament to their depth and quality.

Cherubic Intervention manages to explore and question a dearly held

cultural ideal without feeling like it is in poor taste or exploitative.


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