QUEER IN THE HEADLIGHTS at the NOW Lounge (189 Church), through July 7. 416-364-1301. Rating: NNNN
So I'm a little biased. The show was put together by NOW's own photo editor extraordinaire, Karen Chapelle .
Part of the first annual Pride Art Walk, which spans eight galleries from the upper floor of This Ain't the Rosedale Library to Zsa Zsa, Chapelle's collection features the queer aesthetic of 18 artists.
Highlights include the simple, magnetic beauty of David Findlay's Fountain. Mounted on a light box, the photo depicts a male nude crouching, his ringed fingers on the ground, back arched and head raised as he spurts water out of his mouth. That in itself would be a tad flat had Findlay not shot it in the morning sun by the railroad under a bridge, in the dirt. The locale brings an intriguing element of narrative to the surreal fantasy.
Noted artist, critic and curator Andy Fabo has reproduced on paper an old photo of two black-clad, ageless women in a half embrace. Painting a simple leaf around the couple, whose stern Victorian faces betray barely a trace of emotion, Fabo at once frames them as lovers and portrays their love as natural in the face of the taboos of their day.
Melissa Levin continues her compelling work with jigsaw puzzles in Crossing Cowboys, mixing pieces of faded old puzzles of wide-open spaces. The image blends the summer cowboy scene with swatches of fall and even a piece of winding road, making something whole out of discarded bits.
The most fun, Cecilia Berkovic 's Taxonomy Of Teenage Lust presents a personal yet easily recognizable chart of a 1980s child's desire. Forty-one teen magazine images of various heartthrobs in their fresh-faced heydays include Matt Dillon, Ralph Macchio, Kristy McNichol and several unicorns and horses. There's even one of Rob Lowe on a pony. Smiles abound.
Don't forget to check the Pride Guide for the other Art Walk shows.