Stefanie Gutheil’s Paintings Are About to Lose It

The work of Stefanie Gutheil is a wonderful mess.  Her current exhibit at the Mike Weiss gallery has the atmosphere of the precise moment a party becomes a riot.  Gutheil’s paintings incorporate fleshy globs of oil and acrylic paint, fabric, glitter, hair, and fur.  The seemingly turbid materials match the paintings’ libidinous subject matter.  Even some of the paintings frames  only seem to exist in order to be defied – cat’s tails, pants, hats all push past gilded frames and off the canvas.  In what she portrays and how she portrays it, Gutheil’s work pinpoints a curious place precisely between fun and horror – the moment before the last finger loses its grip.