Art: Nightmare Alley

A crucified man whose body had been pierced again and again by long knives and large nails hung last week on canvas in Beverly Hills' Frank Perls Gallery. Near him, in another painting, a green nude was trussed up and suspended like a sheep being carted off to slaughter. Equally ghoulish was the subject matter of most of the pictures in the exhibition—but undeniable power showed in their uninhibited color and eerie distortions.

The paintings were the work of tall, gaunt James Strombotne, 26, one of the most promising of the young figurative...

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