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Gerhard Richter

How Ed Sullivan, girls gone wild, an alligator and blindfold painting shaped the art of Kim Dingle

How Ed Sullivan, girls gone wild, an alligator and blindfold painting shaped the art of Kim Dingle

If the paintings of Kim Dingle sometimes look as if they’ve been attacked by a 6-year-old gone berserk on a sugar high, it’s probably because they have.

The Los Angeles artist is known for creating paintings and installations that feature little girls in feminine frocks wreaking all manner of havoc. For some of her installs, she will enlist the child of a friend to add the finishing touches: a crayon scrawl on the walls, piles of silly string underfoot, assorted bits of detritus. To help unleash the creative juices, Dingle has been known to supply her workers with generous amounts of candy.

“Sometimes I need an assistant,” she deadpans. “A very short assistant.”

Dingle’s...

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