In Julie Curtiss’ surreal world even the crispy Chinese ducks are covered with hair. Braided, wavy, coiffed, or straight, female hair has become one of the distinct visual signifiers in Curtiss’ vocabulary that makes her work so instantly recognizable. Other trademarks are long, gnarled fingers and toes in garish nail varnish, lush plants, and projectile-like female nipples. A razor-sharp painting technique that creates texture and depth with incredibly detailed brushwork produces disciplined compositions that do without superfluous details. Curtiss rounds up these sign-posts with an innate sense of color that betrays a keen understanding of nature and the skin tonalities of the female body. Traces of Ellen Berkenblit’s odd, out-of-context close-ups come to mind as are Christina Ramberg’s sinister, fragmented female body parts, as well as Jonathan Gardner’s scrupulous control of pictorial space. But in the end, Curtiss manages to find a painterly niche all of her own. Her psychologically charged imagery aptly navigates the space between discomfort and fascination and, although she never shows us the faces of her subjects, we find that we cannot look away. At Anton Kern through June 15.