brett reichman

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Scenes from Geary Street Galleries

San Francisco Chronical – April 17, 1997
by  David Bonetti

Fred Wilson and Brett Reichman, who are enjoying one-person shows at the Rena Bransten Gallery, 7 Geary St., through April 26

Reichman is one of San Francisco’s most skillful painters, and in
his new work, titled “Died of Laughter,” he continues his explo- ration of hidden sexuality in the most innocent childhood toys. Indeed, his work suggests ultimately that there is no such thing as innocence, that as a culture we have poisoned that well for good. But we can laugh all the way to the funeral, if we want.

I “Innocence and Sacrifice” is a virtuoso painting on paper. A rub- ber toy sheep with hard molded fleece fills the sheet. Its head has been pulled off, leaving a suggestive view into the body cavity. The lav- ender-toned “Cap in Hand” iseven more ribald in its suggestiveness. A joyful elf with legs and arms spread shakes his condom-like cap a t the viewer while a face peers out of his
bottom hole.

Reichman is a master of lush decorativeness, and the best paint- ing in the show might very well be the only one lacking randy elves and headless sheep.”Sleepy Hollow” is a fantasia on rococo themes with rosettes and bunches of grapes dangling from the convo
ed French curves. Beautiful.

Ringing the Bell Backwards, 1997, oil on canvas, 50 x 28 inches
Ringing the Bell Backwards, 1997, oil on canvas, 50 x 28 inches