All That Glitters

By the time you read this, the wellspring of Charlie Sheen and Rebecca Black jokes will have just about dried up. Such is the nature of the American pop-cultural machine, where the exploits of human train wrecks generate an instantaneous maelstrom of material for talk show hosts and dozens of auto-tuned music video remixes on YouTube, before everyone moves on to fresher celebrity fodder.

America’s fascination with blockbuster celebrities’ bad behavior, and the paparazzi culture that surrounds them, is at the heart of local photog Peter Bugg’s work. Bugg spent years as interning at an L.A. paparazzi agency. His unique repertoire includes such installations as Target Audience, which put Justin Beiber and other celebs in Che Guevara’s iconic place.

Bugg’s latest showcase, Sweet & Low, continues this theme and also gives new meaning to the term “glitterati,” as it features a series of tabloid covers and spreads dipped in a saturated sugar solution, resulting in a crystal-like patina. It’s sparkly and sweet, and even worse for consumption than the source material.

Wed., April 20, 12-7 p.m., 2011
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Jason P. Woodbury is a music and pop-culture writer based in Phoenix. He is a regular contributor to the music blog Aquarium Drunkard and co-host of the Transmissions podcast.