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Art review: Zackary Drucker, Amos Mac at Luis de Jesus Gallery

December 22, 2011 |  1:30 pm

Zackary Drucker & Amos Mac, "Home is Where the Heart is"
Remember "the male gaze," the much-discussed feminist theory of asymmetrical power in gender relations between the viewer and the viewed? Zackary Drucker, an L.A. photographer, video and performance artist, and Amos Mac, New York publisher of the 'zine "Original Plumbing," toss an elegant monkey wrench into all that in a suite of 25 photographs -- and one doormat -- at Luis de Jesus Gallery.

Drucker is a male-to-female transsexual; Mac is a female-to-male transsexual. In these photographs, whose gaze is which is very much up for grabs.

The photographs were made during a winter visit to Drucker's childhood home outside Syracuse, N.Y. Looking very much like Candy Darling 2.0, the next generation of the late-great-Warhol-superstar, she poses at home and in youthful haunts in a pseudo-fashion spread.

Some pictures are disturbing and poignant, like a gray stroll through a snowy cemetery. Others, including a high school sports field with a now-silenced scoreboard no longer keeping track, make you smile. And still others, including Drucker sprawled on a bathroom floor or, naked, atop a dining table, conjure resonant sources high and low, ranging from art-star Cindy Sherman to tabloid-queen Anna Nicole Smith.

The doormat is the only jarring note in this otherwise ruminative and engaging body of work. It features a lovely picture of Drucker's lovely face inviting you to wipe your feet on her. As a gesture of indifference to outside opinion, it's apt; but the established, queer-culture strategy of embracing slurs to defuse them is starting to feel rather tired and conventional.

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— Christopher Knight

@twitter.com/KnightLAT

Luis de Jesus Gallery, 2685 S. La Cienega Blvd., Culver City, (310) 838-6000, through Jan. 22. Closed Sun. and Mon. www.luisdejesus.com

Photo: Zackary Drucker & Amos Mac, "Home is Where the Heart is; Home is Where You Hang Your Heart," 2011, photograph. Credit: Luis de Jesus Gallery

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