Leather bench covers from the Muscle System gym in San Francisco are the relics displayed in this haunting series by Daniel Goldstein. Worn through contact with the human body, darkened with the sweat of exertion and sanctified by the specter of AIDS, these "skins" have an evocative power, mystery and beauty. Placed behind plexiglass in box-like frames of copper and wood, they form a group called Icarian. It is the name of the manufacturer of the gym benches from which they were removed, and a reference to the youth of Greek mythology who soared briefly, then fell into the sea. They are images of the body, by the body, which like the Shroud of Turin, are transformed into a parable of mortality and eternal life.





In David Maxim's new work, bodies have a corporeality which impels them from the painted surface to invade the three-dimensional space of the viewer. Eight to ten feet tall, Giants and Heroes induce a visceral response: they feel truly gargantuan. Forthright in their eroticized masculinity, they are filled with sexual innuendo. But it is with a sense of grief and loss that they overflow. The dichotomy Maxim presents is that, for all their power and force these giants are icons of human frailty. Confined in jockstraps, hidden behind masks, bound by ropes, they are slaves at the mercy of their master, marionettes controlled by the will or whim of a far greater power.






On learning of his HIV-positive status, Steven Wolf sought solace in a remote cabin in the Blue Ridge Mountains of Virginia. He lived there in seclusion for two years, painting a series of male nudes which seem to meld into the rugged landscape. They are passive, vulnerable and utterly alone in the world. The effect is disturbing, subtly jaring and slightly surreal. But Wolf's more recent work intimates a revival of the body and of the spirit. The heavy earthbound figures are transformed; in a defiant and life-affirming burst of energy they ascend to float among the clouds. They have become heroic, mythic, immortal.