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Shrouded in mystery and gauze, Chris Anthony’s angels, mortals, and mannequins are harbingers of…what, exactly? Hard to say, but it certainly looks sinister. Four photos in Randall Scott’s latest exhibit feature a prostrate subject (victim?) who has been overcome by tiny humans that don’t always appear to have the best intentions. Thomas Swift couldn’t have done it better himself. Anthony’s Lilliputians, set in opulent dusty ballrooms and parlors, are a menace for sleeping women on beautiful settees—wearing tiny wings, they climb upon one, and keep the key to a thumbsucking woman’s chastity belt. In the particularly sinister There Is Unrest in the Forrest, they don pointy hats and prepare to work on a patient with old-fashioned surgical tools. Anthony’s antiquated imagery doesn’t just come from the petticoats, historic mannequins, and Victorian settings. He uses vintage lenses that date back as far as 1870 and drenches much of his work in rich sepia tones. The use of gauze masks on both live models and mannequins blurs reality even further. In The Sovereign’s Acolyte, a nude figure wearing and holding masks is more statuesque than the wooden figurine of Too, Too Naughty and Not One Bit Nice. Through Anthony’s lens, every figure becomes a specter to behold or beware, whether they’re donning wings or reaching for a scalpel.
THE EXHIBITION IS ON VIEW FROM 11 A.M. TO 6 P.M., WEDNESDAY TO SATURDAY TO SATURDAY, NOV. 22, AT RANDALL SCOTT GALLERY, 1326 14TH ST. NW. FREE. (202) 332-0806.