Featured Review: Philip Slein Gallery presents Michael Hernandez de Luna's A Tiger's Tale

A Tiger's Tale Chicago-based Michael Hernandez de Luna exposes the moral misconduct of popularly perceived moral authorities, from Tiger Woods to Bill Clinton, in this series of digitally manipulated stamps. Yes, stamps: The work is part conceptual, the residue of an unwitting collaboration with the postal service in which Hernandez de Luna would send self-addressed stamped envelopes to friends, who'd mail them back. The twist: The artist had drastically altered the return-mail stamps, transforming them into a graphic critique of societal trends, including body enhancement, gross infidelity and appalling public stunts and/or stumbles. The stamps themselves now constitute the exhibition. Bear in mind that as crass, overt and inelegant as it is, the work displayed here is the residue of an otherwise nearly anonymous venture, wherein found envelopes (from People magazine, the Mallory Hotel, the American Philatelic Society, etc.) were affixed with images of, say, Tiger flanked by naked blondes and swarms of corporate logos, and all but silently passed from mailbox to mailbox, the brazen images perhaps eliciting a brief flash of reconsideration of what would otherwise be taken as rote and banal. Also showing: Cheonae Kim, whose paintings are assembled like brightly colored toy blocks, wherein the stacked-together pieces create small, geometric abstractions; and Michael Byron's collages from India: small, intimate works that piece together subtly patterned and partly figural swatches of delicate Indian periodicals, creating atmospheric abstractions of hybrid beasts and imaginary ethers. Through April 24 at Philip Slein Gallery, 1319 Washington Avenue; 314-621-4634 or www.philipsleingallery.com. Hours: 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Tue.-Sat.

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