Colorful confetti! Giant palm fronds! Rainbow fish and long-necked egrets! Siri Langone’s recent oil paintings present lovely scenes, until you realize they don’t. The sexy odalisque of “pleasant valley girl,” posed atop a fallen tree trunk in an animal-print thong and little else, is giving you the finger. The dude in “too soon for honey,” fishing off a rock, pants rolled up to his knees, has caught a dead swan. The person sitting at a table in “coffee & cigarettes v” seems to be enjoying their morning joe in a nice, mint green café, except their drink is violently sloshing out of its mug and their head is engulfed in smoke, source unknown. Curiously, the weirder Longone’s paintings get, the prettier they appear. “Call me,” the most charming of five paintings on view in the artist’s solo exhibition at University of the Arts’ Gallery 6, is strewn with thick pastel and gold confetti, filled with a happy yellow and pink background, and centered on a rock pile out of which extends a hand, two of its fingers making the titular sign. That’s contemporary life for you: looks like a party but hides desperation and death.
—Lori Waxman 10/14/2023 12:22 PM