While Katherine Rutter, Aron Dubois and Zach Reini all create very different art, Illiterate Gallery director Adam Gildar says that "they connect in their exploration of inhumanity and humanity, and they all have very different takes on that." Tomorrow night's closing reception at Illiterate Gallery will be the last time to see this work before it goes down.
Katherine Rutter now lives in Denver, but grew up in Arkansas and draws from her childhood experience to create her art. "The South for her was a place for a lot of conflict in morality, so her work tends to have this sort of childlike perspective of a very precocious child," explains Gildar. He says the work, which mixes watercolor, ink, fabric and even elements like algae, aligns thematically with Southern Gothic literature by authors like Flannery O'Connor. "You have characters that are certainly troubled, maybe a bit grotesque," elaborates Gildar, "but at the same time we sympathize with them rather than being completely repulsed by them."
Gildar says that, while Rutter is very narrative in her work, Dubois disrupts the narrative by creating stark, minimal collage work that is often somewhat pornographic. "A lot of them seem to focus around the angst of sexuality as its been portrayed in mass media," adds Gildar. This includes juxtaposing the explicit imagery with cartoon characters, which Gildar has noticed women in particular seem to find funny. "It seems like women have been more jovially interested in it," Gildar explains as he talks about the moment people realize they're looking at something pornographic. "There's a lot of laughter." Both Rutter and Dubois collaborated for the first time on an installation that is on display in the gallery, and Gildar says this collaboration may lead to them working together again in the future.
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But where he describes their work as sentimental, Gildar says Reini's work nicely complements that by looking at humanity with a sort of "mechanized perfection." His work in this show consists of solid black-painted canvases with white Braille letters on top. But while normal Braille is raised so that the blind can read it, Reini's Braille is flat. Gildar explains that he's "subverting both the sighted viewers, because generally if you're not blind, you're not going to learn Braille, but then at the same time if you were blind you also couldn't read the paintings because they're flat. So everybody sort of loses with his piece."
The closing reception is free and takes place tomorrow night, July 27, at Illiterate Gallery, 82 S. Broadway, from 7 to 10 p.m. The artists will be on hand to answer questions.The art will also be on display all day today from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. As Gildar says, "Getting to pick the brain of the person who made the piece is always a very relevant and fulfilling activity." For more information, visit Illiterate's website.