At Postmasters, Federico Solmi Lets Tyrants Show Off

THE DAILY PIC: Solmi rolls out the red carpet for Idi Amin and Genghis Kahn.


THE DAILY PIC (#1405): For a while now, the works of Federico Solmi have offered expressionist trips through the grim underbelly of human history. My only problem has been that his pieces haven’t been quite grim enough – they’ve been more Ralph Steadman-comic than Art Spiegelman-cautionary.

I can’t say that of Solmi’s latest show at Postmasters gallery in New York. Using crude gaming software, Solmi brings together some of history’s greatest tyrants and creeps – Idi Amin, Genghis Khan, Marie Antoinette – and has them strut their stuff on the red carpet and the dance floor. (Click on my image to see a GIF.) More than anything, Solmi captures the garish pomp and obscene self-display that despots almost always prefer.

Bad taste is not, of course, the worst of their crimes. But it doesn’t hurt the aesthetic cause to be able to point out a correlation between outsized ugliness and hideous souls.

I know that correlation is not causation. But Solmi lets us pretend that it is.

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