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Abstracted Realism 

Wednesday, Jul 13 2011
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The job of the artist is to deepen the mystery, said Francis Bacon. By this standard, Travis Collinson’s paintings and drawings put us on the ocean floor. He juxtaposes near-photorealistic rendering, cartoonlike exaggeration, and bright color with areas of dull, muted tones. These scenes are remarkable for their unremarkableness, yet they embrace a silent anxiety. They could happen anywhere, could be happening right now, in the apartment upstairs or the house down the block. In Sofa, King, Cool, a woman in a light top and modest shorts sits at a table. She doesn’t so much look at the plant in front of her as she looks toward it. Her demeanor is simultaneously certain and awkward. What she ponders, we can’t know. Her face, her body, her clothing, and the plant are brightly colored in blue, red, green, pink. Conversely, the empty room, sliding glass door, and house across the way behind her are beige, brown, gray, off-white. Also there’s a man, on a mattress in the center of the room, nearly erased by the dull hues. His eyes are open. He looks inertly at the ceiling. Is he real? A cadaver? A memory? A distanced lover? We can’t know; we know only that the scene is vaguely troubling, and it’s related to an elusive yet all-encompassing existential angst. Collinson captures the moments when we stop time, step outside the world, and ask the universe: Why the hell am I here?
Tuesdays-Saturdays, 11 a.m. Starts: July 23. Continues through Aug. 20, 2011

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Keith Bowers

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