Featured Review: Jimma!

Jay Lizo's Jimma! at Isolation Room/Gallery Kit.
Jay Lizo's Jimma! at Isolation Room/Gallery Kit.

Featured Review: Jimma! Los Angeles-based painter Jay Lizo makes a present-day icon of the much- maligned former U.S. president — and 2002 Nobel Peace Prize recipient — Jimmy Carter. What does it mean that cerebral, considerate and ethical U.S. public figures require rock-star makeovers in order that we celebrate them? Centered amid the comic book-like lines and bright hues of Lizo's portrait, the erstwhile peanut farmer's eyes are dark and rimmed with gray, and his mouth, lipsticked a pale pink, appears to be forming an agonized plea. But the gallery spotlight that beams down upon him — a neon-silver ether, unapologetically glam — is veritably disco-worthy. In fact, this lone track light is solar powered, a sly nod to Carter's progressive environmental advocacy and far left-leaning spirit. The portrait is from a series titled "A Song from My Hero Collection," in which the humble humanitarian shares space with Andy Warhol, Billie Holiday and that more familiar long-list of "cool" innovators who have long since been enshrined in the college dorm poster hall of fame. As the curators say: "Peace out Jimma!" Through April 7 at Isolation Room/Gallery Kit, 5723 Dewey Avenue; 314-660-6295 or www.gallerykit.blogspot.com. Hours: by appointment.

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