April 2003 - Time Out New York

Lisa Kereszi at Pierogl, through May 14

A student of Stephen Shore and Gregory Crewdson, young photographer Lisa Kereszi shares the former’s love of color and immediacy and the latter’s nose for sexy, mysterious narrative. But the overall sense this large show gives is that Kereszi’s work is more than the sum of its parts. Two distinct series of images are on display; though in spirit, they overlap. The first consists of banal architectural interiors and exteriors devoid of people-hardly a new subject, but one that Kereszi infuses with a sincere fascination for taw dry textures and offbeat vantage points. She looks straight up at a single fluorescent light under a grimy canopy from inside a Brooklyn carousel; she looks down, at the carpeting under lap dancing booths at a club in Miami, and she looks unapologetically, dead-on at a sleazily smooth red wall at ShowWorld. There’s so much beauty, and specificity in the details that Kereszi chooses to hone in on; you can’t help but feel the reality of the moment (and perhaps a little unease) wash over you. The same holds true for her second suite of work here, devoted to the demimonde of “New Burlesque” performers. We view Kitten de Ville accepting an award for Miss Exotic World, not from the front, but from behind, complete with pink exposed buttocks. Faceless “Julie” struts her stuff in cropped close-up, with little more than her red-sequined crotch and breasts filling the frame. Whether Kereszi’s terrain is architecture or flesh, her concern is always with the slippery world of appearances.

—Sarah Schmerler

Time Out New York (April 20030