REVIEW of Doegirl and other Adventures in Bioengineering
New City (Chicago, IL)
Published on February 4, 1999
By Ann Wiens
With the addition of some Astroturf and a handful of silk flowers, Katherine Shaughnessy has transformed this tiny, storefront gallery (open only on Saturday afternoons) into an approximation of the happy, flowered meadows of cartoons and coloring books; the kind of place you'd expect My Pretty Pony to be put out to pasture. Shaughnessy has populated her fairy land with an assortment of cute mutant creatures: "Handimals," which are little forest friends like bunnies and chipmunks sporting fat, human baby hands; and "Mutants," which are similar hybrids gone awry. The land is watched over by the requisite beautiful blond princess, in this case the "Doegirl" Princess Isabella, whose curvaceous form melds, centaur-like, into the body of a deer. An accompanying coloring book provides a contextualizing story about good versus evil and bioengineering experiments gone bad. The work is fairly well done, and the transformation of the awkward gallery space admirably complete--the artist has addressed every surface, from floors to walls. Still, the fairy-tale/genetic manipulation warning wears thin fairly quickly. The show is cute and sweet with a bite to it, but the bite is a small one--like that of a bunny or a chipmunk.