YORK TIMES, December 21, 2001~Ken
Fredericks Freiser Gallery
one of the more interesting professional eccentrics
to troll the margins of the mainstream, combines
wacky pop-style comedy and erotically transgressive
surrealism. In the more recent efforts in this
selection of works from the last three decades,
Mr. Gianakos focuses on female figures cobbled
together like surrealist exquisite corpses,
from down-market cartoons.
He subjects his found images to photomechanical
processes, producing blotchy linear pictures
on glued-together sheets of paper. With areas
of brushy white and off-white paint, the tabloid-size
collages have an old, distressed look, as though
they had been exhumed from some moldy basement
of the mind.
The female subjects have animal heads, faces
floating in soup bowls and breasts, buttocks
and legs from different sources, disjunctively
joined. One is being gynecologically probed
by an octopus; another in sexy lingerie has
crawled under the Victorian desk of a gourd-headed
businessman. Though assembled from fetishized
parts, the women in these pictures are less
objects of desire than of anxiety; they might
be personifications of the artist’s own
creatively disturbing unconscious.
Coming out of the familiar
surrealist tradition, Mr. Gianakos’ women
are not completely surprising. Some of the show’s
least predictable pictures are not about sex.
One small canvas from 1982, for example, depicts
in white on black three boys laughing at a big
jug-eared fellow; its title, “Village
Idiot” refers to a role that certain cannily
perverse contemporary artists like to play.