Art Beat

Michael Paglia's brief sketches of what's happening in the Denver art scene.

It’s no understatement to say that without Phil Bender there would be no Pirate co-op. One of the founders of the group in 1980, Bender’s the only one to stick around. And stick is a good word to use, since he’s the glue that held the place together during difficult times last year when it lost a full half of its pirates.

For his annual self-titled solo show, Bender, as he always does, has assembled groups of similar found items and presented them in grids; most are hung on the wall, while others are placed on sculpture stands. Some of the found items he used this year were square checkerboards and round paper plates. In two pieces, 9 Beauty Rims: (above) and the more ambitious 25 Beauty Rims,: he’s employed flattened chrome wheel rims he found on the streets. Bender has been doing these kind of neo-Dada artworks for twenty years.

In Pirate’s Treasure Chest, a younger artist, David Brady, tries his hand at the same thing in the show Subscious, in which he creates bas-reliefs out of industrial toilet fresheners and rectangles of old, dirty linoleum as well as sculptures from a pile of sugar or a square of AstroTurf. Subscious is truly thought-provoking.

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Bender and Brady are two artists who create art not by making it, but by finding it. Check out their discoveries through Sunday.

 
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