FREAKS R US

Drew Friedman is a legendary graphic illustrator. Pick up a magazine or glance at a book cover and chances are that you'll wear a silly grin the moment a Friedman celebrity caricature comes into view. The artist's work — so accurate it borders on photography — tracks the tightrope between talent and self-parody that famous people navigate. He captures their singularity as well as those embarrassing moments when they resemble freaks in a sideshow. And yet Siamese twins, pinheads and Percilla the Monkey Girl have more dignity than Paris Hilton. Drew Friedman's Sideshow Freaks, his latest collection, is explained by its title and it's a winner. (Note: I saw Willie "Popeye" Ingram at the circus when I was a kid and his ability to make his eyeballs pop out of his head haunts me to this day.) Friedman will be signing Freaks this afternoon and answer questions from interlocutor Wyatt Doyle.
Sun., Feb. 20, 4 p.m., 2011