Two-Headed Monsters

Four strong shows drive full throttle into 2014 at the Rocky Mountain College of Arts + Design’s Philip J. Steele, Rude and Alumni galleries today with receptions honoring a quartet of artists both national and homegrown. In particular, Denver’s Donald Fodness kicks off the year with another of his confoundingly detailed installations in the Rude: Christened LUVRS B H8RZ, the interconnected works tell a complex narrative about domestic duality through found-object sculptures and video. And perhaps only Fodness, the mastermind be-hind it all, can truly explain what’s going on: “One sculpture within the installation, ‘I Do Everything Around Here,’” he says, “is a domestic multi-tool somewhere between furniture and sculpture; it is both functional and impractical. The overall form consists of two crude heads mounted on a dysfunctional antique stereo console, which now serves as a pedestal for the two busts that face a video (documenting the melting of a wax candle shaped like a peace sign) on the opposite wall. Both busts share the same empty voice bubble, which is painted directly on the wall behind them. The whole object is part spice rack, iPod dock, belt rack, mug rack, stash box, toothbrush holder, necklace storage, sewing kit, oven-mitt holder, stationery, incense burner, lamp, cabinet, art piece and planter — turning one of the heads into a visual pun, literally a pot head.

"Polycephaly is repeated elsewhere within the installation, where a double-torsoed mannequin exhibits cheap Peyton Manning shirts. This visually echoes ‘1818’ while audio elements pulse the sound of beating hearts. This figure is meant to highlight a Chinese concept about matching lovers’ uniforms. On game day, I see a whole city turn into lovers also united in opposition toward a weekly rival.”

Also on RMCAD walls, find paintings by Los Angeleno Christina Shurts and New Yorker Nathan Ritterpusch, as well as a fantastical show from RMCAD alumnus David Grigorian; the joint receptions coincide from 6 to 9 p.m. at the galleries on campus at 1600 Pierce Street in Lakewood. Find more information online at
Mondays-Saturdays; Thu., Jan. 9, 6-9 p.m. Starts: Jan. 6. Continues through Feb. 24, 2014

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Susan Froyd started writing for Westword as the "Thrills" editor in 1992 and never quite left the fold. These days she still freelances for the paper in addition to walking her dogs, enjoying cheap ethnic food and reading voraciously. Sometimes she writes poetry.
Contact: Susan Froyd