A center piece of Sigmar Polke's recent exhibition at the Dallas Museum of Art and the Tate Modern, Me and My Buddies Would Vote for You is an outstanding example of Polke's work synthesizing many of the qualities of his earlier paintings. The found fabrics that make up the canvas recall his Rheierbild pictures of the 1960s, and his chosen fabrics are reminiscent of a another era --a scarf of a old English hunt scene, horses running endlessly and a cartoon pattern of goofy characters enjoying pints of beir and pils, a working class German pastime. The paintings from this show were all inspired by Texas, that vast and varied state that contains so much of American social and political legendry and mythology.
The center silkscreen, men in a bar watching with rapt attention as a stripper dances on a table, her body on all fours, is Polke's rendering of a guys night out. Beer is on tap, a USA sign hangs over the bar and true to the symbol of the American West, a cow's skull hangs prominently over the entryway. While the image is quite familiar and even ordinary, it also has the twist of modern tribal savagery. One is subjugated, so others can have their fun. But Polke is like an accidental tourist here, and he does not cast a judging eye on what he sees. Rather, the scene is in some ways a Pop image, an advertisement for fraternity boy antics, and true to his Printer's mistake series, everything we see in this image is likely to be other than what we think it is, or on its way to becoming something else.