Rocketman Jimmy Descant will blast off at Leon with instant art

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Looking at Jimmy Descant's new rocket ship, "VR Green Gamma Daedalus," is like looking at a mint-condition classic muscle car: The glimmer of the painted flake green body of the 1952 Kenmore canister vacuum cleaner, which makes up the body of the rocket, gleams in the chrome of the shined-up beauty-chair base.

The style and eye-candy decadence of the rocket ships in Descant's upcoming show at Leon Gallery, Full On Rocketships!, is a departure from Descant's show at Leon in January, Crutches as a Sign of the Times of Occupation.

"I like to say that the crutches show was light in weight but heavy in metaphor," says Descant. "But that was the plan with Leon, to have the kick-off, the rutches show, and then follow it up with a more fun show, the rocketships. The crutches show was pretty intense."

Other pieces featured at the show that opens Saturday, July 7, are cyclops heads, New Orleans galaxy platters and robot hearts -- all original pieces dreamed up by Descant. Even though the theme of the show is lighter than that of Descant's previous show, which showcased the pain of military veterans and the struggle of the Occupy movement, Descant's political streak is still evident.

"No guns, bullets or bombs in the rocketships," he explains. "That's a motto I came up with after some of my first shows, when people were looking at anything cylindrical in my work as a weapon. I came up with that phrase to educate about the more positive angle of my work."

Decant will also be performing live, replicating a show he did in New Orleans in which he created twelve pieces in seven hours. During Saturday's "Instant Art Event," Descant will make pieces out of objects brought to him; the works will be available for purchase on a sliding scale, either $50, $100 or $200.

"I've been working on live art assemblage for a while," says Descant. "I also have done a lot of live art, to bands or music. What I am going to be doing at Leon is invite the public to bring their own personal stuff, or anything they can find, that I can put on a board, or a tray, and create a piece of assemblage art right in front of them."

P Descant, instant art is the perfect way to connect with his audience, and he thinks Leon is the perfect place to do it. "Being at Leon is great because they've been getting a lot of good attention as the new kids on a whole different block," he says. "Leon, as far as I know, is one of the only galleries having first Saturday openings, which means if you are going out to galleries on Saturday, you're going there."

The instant art event runs from noon to 6 p.m. July 7; the opening for Descant's show follows, and runs from 7 to 10 p.m. at Leon Gallery, 1112 East 17th Avenue. For more information on the gallery, visit Leon's Facebook page. For more on the artist, seeDescant's web page.

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