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OZZFEST ON SMITH

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The David Allen Gallery on Smith Street is raising some eyebrows with its exhibition of paintings by Jennifer Ross, which opens this weekend.

Is the surveillance tape of actress Winona Ryder’s sticky fingers in action, or the eerily lit bedroom romp of heiress Paris Hilton the stuff of art? Ross seems to think so, as these women - caught as much by their celebrity as by their self destructive behavior - have inspired her paintings, which are on display at the gallery now through April 25.

The artist is also intrigued by reality TV programming, using a television image of "The Osbournes" boarding a jet with the family pooch as a departure point for the 2002 acrylic on Lexan called "Kelly, Sharon & Maggie Getting on Plane" (pictured).

According to Gallery Director David Allen, Ross has recorded on video her own imaginary office drama, "Day Job," and (paint on vellum) storyboards from that project, depicting more attractive 20-somethings, are on display in the gallery, too.

Ross’ impressionistic works exploring young, wealthy women’s fall from grace and society’s rubbernecking fascination with watching the accidents are exquisitely explored in a series of small acrylic on Lexan paintings of Hilton’s haunting, turquoise face peering out of Lego frames and a large canvas of a coolly beautiful Christina Aguilera being ogled by a second figure while Eminem, made up as Marilyn Manson, rears his fearsomely painted face from the bottom of the composition toward the sycophantic scene above.

In this show, Ross’ fascination with America’s bloodthirsty cult of celebrity quickly makes a viewer hungry for more.

The David Allen Gallery is located at 331 Smith St., between Carroll and President streets, in Carroll Gardens. The gallery is open Wednesday through Sunday, noon to 6 pm. For more information, call (718) 488-5568.
Updated 4:00 pm, November 10, 2010
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