Pop phenomena, double entendres and skewered common mistruths make up Mike Lash’s latest work, with an array of paintings and prints that range from pleasantly sarcastic to painfully insightful. Linguistic and textual interpretations are played up in the “Sexy” triptych, with stenciled letters on separate panels either saying the phrase, “I think your sexy,” “I think you’re sexy” or “I think your sexier.” The distinctions create a dialogue about textual meaning in contrast with an aural sexual message that is mostly one-dimensional. Several pieces comically observe objectification and free association of everyday objects. The word “Food” lingers over a bull painted in the primitive style of the Cave of Lascaux. A pair of breasts is featured amidst scribblings of “blah, blah, blah.” Another piece simply says in multicolored writing, “Tanks, bombs and shit get me off.” Other pieces taken from his forthcoming book, “Lies for Leo,” caricature common, mistruths assumed by children, such as “Columbus discovered America” or “The shortest distance between two points is a straight line.” With more of a focus on ideas than imagery or aesthetic, Lash’s text-based works seem at times crudely rendered. But humor and multi-faceted meaning show how seemingly crude and common things are worth obsessing over. (Ben Broeren)
Through March 1 at GARDENfresh Gallery, 119 N. Peoria.