They're the savage leavings of society parties, cropped with morning-after cruelty. Craig-Martin does more flattering gossip-page work for Vanity Fair and Vogue, as well as atmospheric, journalistic stuff; she covered this past spring's Venice Biennale for The New Yorker's Instagram feed.
But her museum and gallery presentations (this is her first at Winston Wächter) are closer to satire. Their titles are bitingly funny. And the pictures are joyfully complicit. Every lush, patterned, vivid, glossy inch of her crowded party prints is as indulgently rendered as the nails and lips and shoes and jewelry on the bodies she's photographing.
If she's critiquing wealth's crawling surfaces, she's reproducing them, too. And selling them. If you're shelling out $9,500 for Cancer Benefit, Southampton (Air Kiss), you've gotta have a serious sense of humor (or case of self-loathing). Meanwhile, we gape. Take Party Animals (Cancer Benefit, Southampton), a vicious print stretching more than 6 glimmery feet across and featuring a crotch, a butt, a crowded mass, and the hovering specter of disease.
- Party Animals (Cancer Benefit, Southampton), 2006. This print is more than 6 feet across, big enough to swallow you if you stand too close.