From Juliana Halpert’s review of “Tearsheets,” currently on view at Baxter St. at The Camera Club of New York, for Artforum:
In the 1970s and ’80s, the Pictures artists reworked Marlboro ads, Hollywood-film motifs, Walker Evans photographs, and the front page of the New York Times. Their focus was the stuff of mass media, the images that couldn’t not be seen. This was pre-Internet—remember?—and their materials’ natural habitats, among others, were magazines and newspapers, printed cheaply and consumed by everyone.
For the fifteen works currently on view in “Tearsheets,” Pacifico Silano has emulated this practice, though his material is decidedly less mainstream. Mining the pages of Blueboy, Honcho, and Torso, three gay-porn magazines that were eventually felled by the Web, Silano arranges clipped and ripped fragments against immaculate expanses of flat black or white. Images are tightly cropped and barren of context: We see a smiling, mustachioed mouth biting down on a cherry, and the lower halves of two shirtless figures posing as dance partners. A badly tattered page shows a close-up image of a man wearing a Native American headdress, its intricate patterns and the warm, shining tone of his skin realized by a coarse array of four-color dots. The printing method is just as well worn as this type of stereotypical gay imagery, this mock-up of male sexuality.