12/16/2010 04:35 pm ET Updated May 25, 2011

Daily Serving » Um...My Eyes Are Up Here: John Currin at Gagosian

The biggest snow job in history is how high art in Western culture has largely been about ogling T&A under the guise of mythological allegory. Work by academic art stars like Bouguereau and Cabanel from the Paris Salon look like soft-core porn, and everybody knows that old master subjects like The Three Graces and The Judgement Of Paris are mostly a front for putting the female nude on display. John Currin has been shaking his moneymaker by inverting the relationship between traditional narrative and all-out ecstasy since the 1990s. While a typical 19th-century "music lesson" scene only suggested that more than a tickling of the ivories was at play, Currin's version shows clothes ripped off and instruments flying. Some of his paintings leave little to the imagination, but it's cool. They are a revelation of sorts