When Brandon Borchert plays Powerball, he is always a winner.
Borchert is a Denver artist who has developed a master list of 53 numbered images matched to the digits printed on the white betting balls. When the lucky gaming globes of Powerball are drawn, the Dada-inspired painter heads to his canvas to create a Lotto-laden composition with the corresponding images.
Just as the surrealists employed the "objective chance" theory, Borchert says he embraces "happenings that are random." He traces this concept back to a childhood run-in with a freak next door who was fond of explosives. "I used to live in a trailer park in Castle Rock," explains the artist. "I had this neighbor who worked at the Rocky Mountain Arsenal -- everyone called him Long John Silver -- and he was going through a nasty divorce. Then one day he just decided he was going to blow himself up -- and I was almost blown up by my crazy neighbor. I guess that was when I learned about the randomness of being alive."
That human powder keg is immortalized in a painting titled "Long John Silver and the Trailer of Boom" which will hang alongside Borchert's continuing series of Powerball pieces in an exhibit called Random Art Two, opening tonight from 7 to 11 p.m. at Pod & Capsule, 554 Santa Fe Drive. "Art should always be approachable," the artist says. "There's an image in each piece that people can relate to. I think art should always be fun, even if it's a bit cryptic."
Random Art Two is on display through December 11. Call the gallery at 303-623-3460 for more information. -- Kity Ironton
Celebrating Women does what it says
Paola Gianturco has spent the past five years traveling the world in search of countries that honor women. She went to seventeen festivals in fifteen nations and met and photographed thousands of people, including a princess, a king and a governor. She attended a parade where half a million Bolivians prayed to Mother Earth for their sewing machines and cell phones, and she witnessed 25,000 virgins dancing in nothing but five-inch skirts for the Queen Mother in Swaziland. Her latest book, Celebrating Women, honors females -- from virgins and flirts to warriors and protectors.
"I got this idea as I was interviewing women embroiderers in India. One of them told me I should come back in the fall, when they dance all night to honor the Mother God, and that was the start of this," she says.
Gianturco will be at the LoDo Tattered Cover, 1628 16th Street, tonight at 7:30 p.m. for a slide show. Call 303-436-1070 for more information. -- Jerri Theil