There’s still time to nominate local icons for Best of D.C.
Scrapping the traditional evolutionary rule book, Joshua Levine rearranges the woodland world by radically revising the features of fauna. Symmetry and redundancy are Levine’s favorite first principles, expressed in the artist’s sculptures—mock game busts, mounted on the wall as trophies—through twisting antler arrangements, hybrid heads, conjoined features, and an awful lot of replica eyeballs. Levine’s sculptures aren’t so much unnatural as re-natural: Trophy Head (JarvalinaMultiHorned) depicts the bust of a long-eared, boarlike creature whose stony tusks and antlers project from its face like the spiraling arms of Shiva. Levine’s exaggerated colors hasten to warn that the conditions that may give rise to such a beast might not lie in an impossible past but in the near future: radiation disasters, genetic manipulation, and other such horrors are all implied. But for freakshow game trophies, the works present a fairly staid sculptural vision. Levine’s magical-realistic resin sculptures don’t look real in the right fake way, a limitation that might owe to the artist’s reluctance to examine his material to the same degree he’s trekked through his imagined alien frontier. “The Trophy Room” is on view 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Tuesdays through Saturdays and by appointment to Sunday, Jan. 7, 2007, at Irvine Contemporary, 1412 14th St. NW. Free. (202) 332-8767. (Kriston Capps)