Among the high-power conceptual photography dominating the holiday gallery season, Chris Scarborough’s shtick is to shoot female models in color and then alter their appearances in the computer to make them look like exaggerated doll-like figures in Japanese anime. Absurdity is the name of the game when we look at an image of a damsel sporting a blissful smile sprawled on her back in a filthy alley and wonder whether she is drugged-out flesh and bones or a discarded Barbie doll. Scarborough intersperses his photographs with spare line drawings of nymphettes that are so hyper-expressive that they make the photos that they reference almost seem to be realistic, proving the artist’s point that reality is hopelessly elusive and only comes to us with various doses of neurotic imagination. (Michael Weinstein)
Chris Scarborough shows at Gescheidle Gallery, 118 North Peoria, (312)226-3500, through December 16, 2006.