Inka Essenhigh has aptly described her paintings as "about America: fake, fun, pop, violent but also quite attractive." Her work has a beguilingly alien appeal: antiseptic yet expertly rendered, flirting with both abstraction and representation but committing to nothing more than visual intrigue. Slickly designed and intricately painted, Essenhigh's pieces whimsically marry seductive visuals from cartoons, mythology, suburbia, the World Wrestling Federation, nature, product design and basically anything else that appeals to the eye. Her latest show in New York convincingly asserts that shallow is the new deep and cuts the very latest edge in one of the most traditional of media.

303 Gallery, 525 W. 22nd St., (212) 255-1121. Mar. 4-Apr. 13.

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