REALationships: Works of Surreal Inspiration

Foothills Art Center

Michael Chavez has been the curator at Foothills Art Center (809 15th Street, Golden, 303-279-3922) for a little over a year, but the current exhibit, REALationships: Works of Surreal Inspiration is the first show he's had the opportunity to put together. The idea for the show is twofold, with Chavez having sought out work that was surrealistic in some sense but also dealt with the idea of human relationships.

Chavez selected a group of locals who range from young artists to old-timers, seamlessly bringing them together. Most notable among the youngsters is LuCong, a neo-traditional painter best known for his evocative doe-eyed female nudes. For this show, though, he did a grid of tough-dude mug shots based on photos of people who are actually wanted by the police. This monumental multi-part painting is clearly one of the standouts in the exhibit. LuCong is just at the start of his career, as are Wes Magyar and Jenny Morgan, who are the other youngsters featured here.

Among those with a few more years under their belts are Ricki Klages, Peter Illig, Frank O'Neill, Scott Fraser, Wes Hempel and Jack Balas working collaboratively, and Bill Amundson, whose "Branded Man," a graphite-on-pencil drawing, is pictured. In this fanatically detailed self-portrait, Amundson has covered his bald head with famous advertising logos from corporations such as Coca-Cola and Home Depot. It's an astounding example of eye-to-hand coordination, as are all of his drawings.

As an adjunct to the show, Chavez orchestrated The Exquisite Corpse, in which he put together groups of three artists to do different parts of the same etching plate. One artist would do the top third, the second would do the middle third, and the last would do the bottom third. The artists could not see what the others had done, so the final results represent the bringing together of completely disparate parts. Mark Lunning, master printer at Open Press, who has his own show at Foothills II next door, pulled the etchings. Let me just say this: The idea is a lot more interesting than the artworks themselves.

REALationships runs through March 11 at Foothills.

 
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