A Sign of Desire
The alluring vixens of James Henninger’s new series of paintings appear on battered and worn traffic and construction signs, giving viewers mixed signals.
Henninger: “When I first got the idea for the show, I wanted to pick street signs that had diverse fonts and sayings that I could use as a double meaning. For this piece in particular (detail, opposite page), I titled it ‘Double Penalty’ because of the young woman I painted on the side. Originally, I pictured the woman to either be an exotic dancer or a lady of the evening. Prostitution is illegal in Las Vegas, but it doesn’t stop people from doing it. I wanted to show that the temptation is there, and the consequences are in front of us …
“I had an artist friend of mine blow bullet holes in two of the street signs. I am still working on these pieces. My friend went through a lot of pain from using the shotgun. He shot over 100 rounds on each. These two pieces will be collaboration pieces with artist Walter Heiss.
“Most of all I want the show to have a feeling of desire, temptation and consequences.”
Through August, 303 North Studio, in the Arts Factory, 107 E. Charleston Blvd., www.facebook.com/303NorthStudio
A trip to photograph the Neon Boneyard for fun became an opportunity to explore, through painting, the rhythm, balance, vivid color and decay of the retired signs.
Faunce: “I had only intended the excursion to be for entertainment purposes. It was later, when I was editing my photos at home, that I realized how much I wanted to create paintings from them. As a longtime resident of Las Vegas, I grew up seeing many of these signs in their original placements, and there is a nostalgia and reverence in putting them to canvas. But, beyond that, cropping them as I did for my work, I was able to create something new with them, to take them out of their original context and come up with something to which I had a visceral response beyond my memories.
“In my piece “Ar,” I love the sign’s bold colors and the repetitions of pattern, the circles and lines that loop and intertwine in an intricate dance. ‘Ar’ has a feeling of controlled chaos, bright swaths of color and rows of intact bulbs mixed with rust and empty sockets. This perfect balance of vibrance and decay …”
Through August, Tastyspace, in Emergency Arts, 520 Fremont St., www.facebook.com/tastyspace
Grand Opening of RedRoom
Artist Jana Lynch’s new community-focused RedRoom Gallery, in the Arts Factory, will show work by locals only, with an emphasis on student and emerging artists. This month’s artists are Steve Jasper and Jennifer Barreras.
Jasper: “The model for this piece is Faegann Harlow, a local aerialist whose act included acrobatics while holding on to burning chains. … Knowing this definitely influenced how I painted my piece and decided what medium to use. I decided on pastel, because it is the closest thing to pure pigment and allows me to paint in a direct, bravura style. There are no corrections, no apologies with this style.”
Barreras: “’The Aquistion of Peace’ represents all of life’s confusion. We are constantly observing, listening, smelling, watching. … The small white image in the center represents peace. No matter what part of the painting you look at, your eye is constantly drawn back to the pure white center, and that’s the point. It doesn’t matter what is going on in our crazy lives, all we want is a little bit of peace.”
Through August, RedRoom, in the Arts Factory, 107 E. Charleston Blvd., www.janasredroom.com