|Mark Bryan, Homeland, oil on panel, 2002.|
Sacramento News and Review article
Those in search of this month’s A-list mind-blowing visual experience need to stop by Solomon Dubnick Gallery, at 2131 Northrop Ave. (just west of Howe), where the works of two artists hang like delicious brain candy, waiting.
George D. Green has been incorporating trompe l’oeil–read: fools the eye–into his paintings since the 1970s. His current showing, titled, well, Trompe l’oeil, is comprised of 18 pieces, most of them the kind of brightly colored seascapes you find on the dust jackets of sci-fi novels. The optical tomfoolery has to do with the relationships between the seascapes and their “frames,” along with the other objects, lines and planes that break those relationships down.
If Green’s paintings are fun to absorb on an intellectual level, the madcap works of Mark Bryan feature a volatile combination of subgenius imagery that’ll make you double over laughing with the type of disturbing cartoonish dreamscape elements that comic artists like Jim Woodring are so good at bringing to life. Simply put, More Pictures From My Head is a hoot. In one piece, what looks like an endless Bay Area suburb, on closer inspection, is populated by tiny fortified houses, each with a turret gun on the rooftop and a tank parked in the driveway. In another, a mimelike figure juggles flaming torches on a unicycle while clowns lurk in bushes nearby, waiting to pounce. In another, a ballerina and dancing poodle cavort before an audience of skulls while a skeleton navigates a highwire overhead; behind them, two more skeletons pull the bucolic agrarian painted backdrop to reveal a nightmarish cityscape behind, while tanks are parked stage right.
You can check out Bryan’s 20 pieces, along with Green’s and new work by Ann Mueller, this Saturday, June 8, from 6 to 9 p.m. at Solomon Dubnick, which is normally open Tuesday-Saturday, 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Through June 29.