It’s not a crime to “steal from the masters”—indeed, that’s pretty much the history of painting. But you don’t want the homage to make you desperately miss the original, and that’s the problem with Ginger Fox’s transpositions of great paintings into the all-too-cute world of fantasy realism. The pain of her butchered “Girl with a Pearl Earring” is almost unbearable, as the subtleties of a great Baroque painting are washed out in a cartoonish re-creation that’s accompanied by a clumsy, stuffed bird that is stealing the pearl. Ouch! Alongside versions of Raphael, Magritte and Tanguy that are similarly abused by clumsy values, blowsy drawing and errant birds—this is either a horror show of dumbed-down visual culture or pleasantly decorative and mildly humorous with just a hint of high culture—which is presumably the intention. (Chris Miller)
Through November 1 at Portals Gallery, 742 N. Wells St.