The adjective that best describes the ink-and-gouache works in emerging artist Peter Lofstsrom’s “Pretty Boys” show is: fabulous. The succinct show features five works, each displaying young men, alone or in pairs, surrounded by the otherworldly props and colorful regalia of a sexually enigmatic fantasy. The strange, frozen tableaux are like excerpts from a larger, dreamlike fable. There is glamour here, but it’s a dark type. In “soldiers,” their shiny, quasi-medieval weaponry has drawn vivid blood, and in “hooker” an androgynous figure is snagged to a large hook he himself controls through a Rube Goldberg-like apparatus. Striking poses that range from the languid to the abandoned, the subjects of the pictures subvert the classic pose of the odalisque, wherein seductive, passive women are caught for eternity in the headlights of the male gaze. (The intimacy of this genre is well-served by the charming Giftshop Project space where the work hangs—formerly a closet.) Beyond comprehensive interpretation in its manifold peculiarity, the exhibit most compels through its particulars: exquisitely rendered chain mail booties, for instance, and a sumptuously hued picnic blanket. (Sean Francis)
Peter Lofstrom, “Pretty Boys,” shows at Giftshop Project Space, 1039 West Lake, 2nd floor, (773)757-4836, through October 6.