Deborah Kass, Pants Roles

Fresh from her major retrospective “Before and

Fresh from her major retrospective “Before and Happily Ever After” artist Deborah Kass presents another retrospective of sorts, “My Elvis +”, at the Paul Kasmin Gallery. “My Elvis” is a series of prints and paintings of one of Kass’s most important muse that goes back over 20 years, Barbara Streisand as “Yentl”… and well of course, the other most important muse, Andy Warhol.

“Yentl”, in which Streisand famously adapted and starred, was a story about a young woman who cross-dresses in order to attend a yeshiva to study the Talmud, where women were banned. Not a far reference to the art world up to the 80’s when Kass broke through. The male dominated art culture was even more pronounced for painters, with very very few women ever getting any attention and being largely overshadowed by male counter-parts (often of lesser talent.)

Having very few role models as a female artist, Kass’s attachment to Andy almost needs no explanation. Who isn’t attached to Andy? Warhol’s stamp upon the art world is seen everywhere in almost every contemporary artist as inspiration, reference, and emulated lifestyle. However, Kass gets right to the point in her work and appropriates Warhol as he appropriated, well, everything. Deborah Kass steps into Warhol’s shoes (or pants) the way Barbara stepped into Yentl’s, making a point, and leaving her a mark.


Deborah Kass: My Elvis +
January 24 – February 23, 2013
515 West 27th Street, New York, NY