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To April 22

Never mind the title—Transformer’s current show isn’t about testes. Instead, “Itsy Bitsy Bollocks” is a collaborative mixed-media installation, one so exuberant that it literally spills into the street. The four featured artists—Kelly Towles, Mark Jenkins, Travis Millard, and Mr. Eggs—have painted not only all over the gallery walls but also on the building’s façade, the sidewalk, and a nearby fence. The energy is strong, but the work itself is a mixed bag. Doctored photos in junk frames, pinned-up Dick Cheney jokes, and clunky robots crudely drawn on bits of wood form constellations here and there, joined by networks of cartoon plumbing (pictured). Sometimes it’s hard to tell where individual pieces begin or end: Goofy egg creatures extend past the edges of their canvases, continuing onto surrounding wall space; clear packing-tape sculptures of animals graze contentedly on painted foliage. It’s playful, irreverent, and, well, a little bit pointless. Sure, it’s liberating to break up stuffy commercial gallery presentation, but in the cramped, slightly funky nonprofit confines of Transformer, it’s hard to see what precisely these artists are resisting. And although the show is both anti-commercial and collaborative in spirit, each artist has a narrowly conceived, self-identifying brand—and sticks with stock characters and images. That the work sits well together says less about the completeness of the collaboration and more about the artists’ mutual love for impoverished materials and junk culture. The result is great fun but not necessarily great art. “Itsy Bitsy Bollocks” is on view from 1 p.m. to 7 p.m., Wednesday through Saturday, to Saturday, April 22, at Transformer, 1404 P St. NW. Free. (202) 483-1102. (Jeffry Cudlin)