With less than a week to go before the opening of two shows that feature the works of Palestinian artist Khaled Jarrar, I received a message from him that read: “The Israelis sent me back.” Another soon followed: “No trip to NY.”
It has been sixty years since the last Tunisian artist, Abdelaziz Gorgi, was formally shown in New York, but that’s the first of two claims to history made by The After Revolution, a series of exhibitions showcasing Tunisian artists at White Box on the Lower East Side — the focus of this review — as well as 5Pointz in Long Island City and the French Institute Alliance Française (FIAF) Gallery on the Upper East Side. The exhibition’s second and more obvious claim to history is as a comprehensive engagement with the question of revolution as it stands in Tunisia two years after Mohamed Bouazizi immolated himself and brought down a tyrant.
Do you know Adonis? He’s not like those other male nudes that only exist to flaunt their bodies. Adonis has a touch of the ethereal. Delicate, almost elvish, features lend a gentleness to his face. He’s taut but not Herculean. He is mature but retains the slim, willowy frame of youth. This special kind of male nude, named after the one and only boy that enticed Aphrodite, who could have had any man she wanted, takes center stage in Chilean artist José Pedro Godoy’s show of recent paintings.