ILK, at 554 Santa Fe Drive, is a raggedy, upstart co-op that nonetheless frequently displays some of the most original art around. It is currently presenting a pair of intriguing solo shows. In ILK's south gallery is New Works by Victoria del Carmen Pérez; in the north gallery is Size 0: New Works by Michelle Gonzalez.
Pérez, who graduated from Metropolitan State College before earning her master of fine arts from Philadelphia's Tyler School of Art, is essentially a painter. The show is uneven, but there is a stunning turn or two. "White Out," a luscious abstract mixed-media painting on canvas, really works. Especially nice is Pérez's use of purple iridescent glitter embedded in the dingy yellow paint. "Americana" is a series of painted panels laid like tiles across the wall; on the floor below is a pile of white and yellow balloons -- some with pre-printed happy-face designs. This piece, while ambitious, is not as successful as "White Out."
Gonzalez's show is something completely different. The artist, a recent graduate of the Rocky Mountain College of Art and Design, has sewn together out-of-proportion paper clothes and hung them from substantial metal armatures. She is an expert at surface effects, because it's hard to believe -- even on close examination -- that the pieces are not made of cloth.
This visual sleight of hand can be seen in spades in "Night Nude" (above), a piece in which Gonzalez has placed what looks like a pair of black pantyhose together with a pair of flesh-toned ones. By crinkling and then flattening the paper, Gonzalez creates the illusion of transparency. Although it looks like you can see through the paper, you really can't.