When Philip Guston stopped sketching luminous abstractions, he turned to rose-colored cartoons of shoes, heads, cities and other icons of lonely urban life. Alexander Buzzalini channels something of that serious comic energy toward the opposite end of American mythology: the Wild West. In knowingly childish drawings that overwork their vast crayoned surfaces with delirious commitment, western signs stand big and proud, in that slightly ridiculous way of theirs. A giant red cowboy boot, complete with spur, kicks uselessly against the empty black sky. A three-fingered cactus bolts up into puffy clouds, stuck still and doomed in a pail of water. A dopey horse chomps bug-eyed on its bridle. A Winchester as long as my wingspan drips, a bit grossly. In all good comedy there is tragedy, registered in the sadness of legendary things exaggerated to the point of truth. We can’t help but empathize.
—Lori Waxman 11/29/15 3:56 PM