Icon of contemporary surrealism Todd Schorr is a favorite with fans of post-illustration style narrative symbolism such as once defined the mission of Juxtapoz. But the genres mostly known as Low-Brow and Pop Surrealism are far too constricting to account for Schorr's voracious appetite for art historical and anthropological influences. His painstaking, labor-intensive technique and elaborately detailed compositions mainly take the form of paintings, although he will also show drawings, color studies, and sculptures in his hotly anticipated new exhibition “Todd Schorr: Neverlasting Miracles” — but he also loves to tell a good story. In this case, he takes a look at the tellingly ironic degree to which Neanderthal DNA is still, as he says, alive and well and swimming in our modern-day genetic lottery, particularly in the context of our decadent cultural obsessions with beauty and violence. With a humor that sometimes borders on the grotesque, Schorr overpopulates his intricate settings with images and characters from history, fiction, entertainment, and his own rich imagination, rendering the scenes with a masterful mannerism that is at once plausible and fanciful. There is humor, but it's dark; and there are cautionary tales, but they delight. Is there such a thing as Smart-Brow? There should be. Merry Karnowsky Gallery. 170 S La Brea Ave., Hlywd.; Sat., March 17, 8-11 p.m.; exhibit runs Tues.-Sat., noon-6 p.m., thru April 14; free. (323) 933-4408; mkgallery.com.

Tuesdays-Saturdays. Starts: March 17. Continues through April 14, 2012

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