Take a Peek at Peter Saul's Carnal Cakes and Grotesque Pop-Art Satires at Mary Boone

Peter Saul's "Deadly Diet," 2011
(Courtesy Mary Boon, New York)

WHAT: Peter Saul

WHEN: Through April 28, Tuesday-Saturday 10am-6pm

WHERE: Mary Boone Gallery, 541 West 24th Street, New York

WHY THIS SHOW MATTERS: Peter Saul was pop art before there was pop art. The venerable artist tackles Wall Street corruption, national security, female empowerment, diet fetishes, sex, and hegemonic art movements in his first solo exhibition at Mary Boone Gallery. In classically indefinable Saul style, the artist puts topical issues on the chopping block with crudely hilarious political incorrectness, and candy-colored cartoon characters. Saul’s work has long been described as a seriously funny fusion of Pop, Surrealism, Expressionism, and comics – however, he remains in a genre all his own after a career that has spanned six decades.

Saul’s trademark air-brushy acrylic paintings feature everything from fornicating cakes in “Cake and Pie” (2011) to a less than flattering portrait of the American economy, sans responsible CEOs in “Wall Street” (2012). In a recent painting he even pits himself against Pop art, taking a chainsaw to Andy Warhol’s iconic Campbell’s soup can in “Peter Saul vs. Pop Art” (2012). His overt political humor and penchant for comic trends comes full circle in a series of drawings from 2004-2010, showing an emasculated Bernie Madoff and flying

Salvador Dali invading Cuba. Saul is still on top of his game, pumping out fresh polemnics to add to his oeuvre of bright socially critical images — we don’t dare put a label on him. 

To see images from the exhibition, click the slide show