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Review: Denise Milan/Chicago Cultural Center

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The term “nature people” takes on an entirely new and fanciful meaning in Brazilian photo-artist Denise Milan’s color photo-collages of the flora and human inhabitants of Brazil’s Atlantic coastal rainforest. In Milan’s combinations of images, which do not pretend to be seamless, people become flowers sprouting out among leaves, and flowers take on human form in an idyll over which even the staunchest romantic primitivists would blush. At the top of her extravagant game, Milan serves up an image of a parrot man with a human torso and hands, and a bird’s head, perched on pink petals wreathed in glossy green leaves, against an unnatural monochromatic green background. There is a whiff of colonialism here, along with new-age nativist spiritualism spiced with grotesquerie. (Michael Weinstein)

Through January 6 at the Chicago Cultural Center, 78 East Washington

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