A famous anecdote has it that Abraham Lincoln, asked for his reaction to a book, responded with what must be one of the most succinct reviews in the history of literature: "People who like this sort of thing will find this is the sort of thing they like." That's also a reasonable reaction to the work of Romero Britto, a Brazilian-born, Miami Beach-based pop artist who seems to be more or less beyond criticism. Simply put, people like Britto — and a great many people indeed, judging from his vast fame and fortune. I was not present at the recent opening of "Romero Britto: A Britto Celebration!!" at the Coral Springs Museum of Art, but a witness reports that people were lined up to have the artist sign posters of his Mona Cat (2004), a particularly ghastly 2004 acrylic that's a takeoff on the Leonardo da Vinci masterpiece as well as an unfortunately characteristic example of Britto's work. Imagine what might emerge if you were to toss cubism, graffiti-based art, and pop art at its most garish and commercial into a blender, seasoned with a dollop of stained glass, and you get a rough approximation of Britto's style. His 1989 design for an Absolut vodka ad gave him near universal exposure. Since then, his everything-but-the-kitchen-sink, brightly colored creations have become ubiquitous. A handout for the show that turns out to have been lifted directly from the artist's website declares, with typical modesty, "Alluding to influences of early and modern masters, Britto's pulsating colors, pop themes and commanding compositions have led him to become the premier contemporary Artist of his generation." I can't add to such hyperbole, except a reminder that, as they say, there is indeed no accounting for taste. (Through May 16 at the Coral Springs Museum of Art, 2855 Coral Springs Dr., Coral Springs. Call 954-340-5000, or visit csmart.org.)
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