Nikki Maloof

April 21, 2018, 9:23am

Animal Hearts and Alprazolam Eyes: Nikki Maloof at Shane Campbell Gallery

They seem to be … scanning …  searching … through the white walls and white light, past Cermak … beyond Brooklyn … these massive, searching, scanning, yearning, alprazolam eyes, wide and wet with an anxious energy belayed by the piano-wire purse of their mouths, and it's a funny thing, seeing this menagerie—a stallion deep and dark and strong and arresting as the abyss; a wind blown canine the color of youth soccer and science fair trophies, its ears moving like a model's hair; cats with the casual repose of Instagram influences, languid echoes of Versailles; a bat neigh-indistinguishable from its night, wings face fur rendered in dried russet, a tropological coagulate crowned, like all its mates, up to and including the dead fucking fish, with those eyes—these eyes, with complete disregard for science and anatomical fidelity, tasked not with anything so brute and beautiful as physiology but instead being bent towards the philosophical, giving every animal here a look that's not of them, and not of us—the eyes aren't human; more super-human, really, uncanny, like anime eyes whose very size and depth seems capable of expressing exigency beyond anything but reality—but is of a universal human feeling, that painful, wistful vibe, hope tinged with fear as we scan the horizon, check the sidewalk, hold our breath for a text, the scars in our eyes reflected back at us—with vibrancy and humor and the alienation requisite for recognition—in Nikki Maloof's creatures, the Arecibo Observatories set within their skulls scanning, searching, complete heterochromia combing the distance, the Klonopin horizon, for an intelligence they don't fully understand, every pet part of SETI … – B. David Zarley , Chicago Contributor 


Nikki Maloof | Her Name Is Ut Pictura Poesis, 2018. Oil on canvas. 72 x 61 inches. Image courtesy of the artist and Shane Campbell Gallery, Chicago. Photo by Evan Jenkins.

Listed under: Review