There's a really unusual show at Pirate right now that combines neo-traditional paintings of the figure with animated projections based on them. The Future Is Coming is a collaborative effort by painter Terry Campbell and photographer Matt Slaby.
The front space contains half a dozen monumental paintings by Campbell. In them, Campbell focuses on the full or partial figure in a way that puts a contemporary take on the Old Masters. In most, the figure is lighter than the ground, so it advances toward the picture plane while the background, which is invariably dark, recedes.
In three of them — including the featured piece, "One Step at a Time" (detail pictured) — Slaby helped Campbell with a multi-step process that converted them into new-media works. First he took photos of people that Campbell had staged; the painter himself was often the subject. Campbell then created paintings based on the photos. When the paintings were completed, Slaby photographed them and made animations based on them. These animations are projected onto the canvases so that the figures seem to pulse, or vibrate, and certain colors are toned up in a way that would be impossible if pigment alone had been used. Though I have seen a few other things like these, the method is still rare enough to be truly novel.
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The Future Is Coming
Also at Pirate is Chip Lynch: Ghosts/Guardians, in the Associates Space in the back. Lynch is a self-taught artist, and this show represents his first exhibition ever. Using found linens along with twigs and sticks, he evokes antiquity and spirituality with sculptures that look like robes or other garments. To make them, Lynch folds and drapes the fabrics; many take forms that emphatically suggest the missing figures. They have a tremendous insubstantiality, and gravity has been used to partly determine their formal characteristics.
Through July 29 at Pirate: Contemporary Art, 3655 Navajo Street, 303-458-6058, www.pirateartonline.org.