Considered as an oddity, one would search in vain to find him mentioned in the official histories of contemporary art. He is however the author of a stupefying body of work, which strictly speaking would be described as scandalous when seen from the standpoint imposed by puritanical America but also what constitutes its inverse: the world of politically correct aberrations, and goes way beyond the boundaries of what is considered right and proper. Considered as both sacrilegious and disrespectful, Gianakos loves to play with fire; he does not hesitate to flirt with taboo subjects and is quite capable of venturing into the clearly contentious subject matter of paedophilia or gerontophilia.
This exploration of forbidden territory is not without reason, as along with certain of his more playful colleagues and countrymen (John Wesley, Robert Crumb, Peter Saul, not to mention the Californian School) he has come to realise that the deployment of bad taste and ?taboo? subject matter is often the only defence against acceptation by the establishment
A face in profile depicted as a safety pin, a head in high-heels, a snake in a pair of underpants ! The New York artist (b.1938) Steve Gianakos' drawings, collages and acrylics could easily be seen as proverbs, with their trivial truths distilled through a few dark lines. His naïve style in the vein of vintage comics and children?s books depicts mini scenes ranging from the obscene to the cruel, inhabited by cannibal pin-ups and little girls lifting their skirts. The American art establishment, with its morals and metaphysical ambitions takes a slap on the backside; the same treatment is also reserved for the American Dream. Gianakos is a major figure of American Pop Art and his work is included in the collections of the MoMA, the Guggenheim and the Whitney Museum in New York. He is represented in France by Semiose Gallery.