60 WRD/MIN ART CRITIC
Bishop Allen
What would it be like to sit in a giant strawberry? Or to be made up entirely of colored glitter? Or to wander in a shadowy landscape filled with towering cones and cylinders? The Surrealists pictured answers to questions like these, as they fought against the strictures of workday life. Eighteen-year-old Bishop Allen has too, though the gentle sincerity of his graphite self-portrait might suggest otherwise. But there it is, a carefully rendered diagram of a strawberry-shaped chair, complete with seeds and stem, needing only a living room in which to swivel. A grayscale study of geometric shapes, just waiting for a little human figure to go walking by. A silver-and-gold checkerboard whose squares dissolve into a wild clash of animal patterns and neon colors, lying in wait of pawns, knights, castles, queens, kings—and a bishop. The Surrealists loved to play chess, and they often designed strange new boards. It made the game more marvelous, as a giant strawberry chair might make life.

—Lori Waxman 11/27/15 5:48 PM
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