Like topographical neon doilies, the intricately cut paper islands of artist Charles Clary proliferate across the wall; viral archipelagos. The colorful, lacy forms are inspired by the blooms of lethal viruses under the microscope and the chemical structures of medications used to treat them.
Clary: “My mother was a devout advocate of my work and while her death was difficult, I knew that I had to keep working. I began to rethink my process and how these events would inevitably impact the work. “Dilaudi-Diddle Movement No. 1” and “No. 2” deal primarily with my mother’s seven-month-long fight, and focuses on the daily regimen of pain medications and patches … chemo and radiation treatments. The hexagon panels are indicative of the structural formula for the pain medications Dilaudid and Fentanly, while the color palate deals with the radiation and chemo. The surface looks as if it has been necrotically eaten away, revealing the underlying disease or damage caused. … Neon colors boldly interact with gaunt purples to emphasis how while the treatments work they take their inevitable toll on the body.”
Brett Wesley Gallery, 1112 S. Casino Center Blvd. www.brettwesleygallery.com
Greasing the Skids
Burdened with plump pillows, clustered stacks of dining room chairs rise like a copse of alien trees in the center of the Clark County Government Center Rotunda. Stacked cherry-wood limbs increasingly crooked and warped, pillows exponentially fatter toward the top, the stack of chairs grow a metaphor for the evolving human diet.
Zimmerman: “[The chairs] act as a stand-in for the human body and compress the shifts the human form has taken in the last 250 years into somewhat of a vertical timeline, in the round. Of the many influences in the piece, the biggest revolves around the research my wife Amy Hubbard has been doing over our pre- and post-Industrial Revolution diet and its repercussions on our bodies. Starting with the chairs at the bottom, what seems normal and strong at one point slowly morphs and conforms to the chair below, until the forms become almost unrecognizable at the top of the stack. Other influences include photography of fallen Civil War soldiers, the history of the term “skid row” and a slight nod to nuclear mushroom clouds.”
Clark County Government Center Rotunda Gallery 500 Grand Central Parkway, www.clarkcountynv.gov
We get married, have kids and the joys of domestic life just pile up: piles of dirty laundry, dirty diapers and bags of groceries, stacks of dishes. Some women feel they lose their identity to the chores of family life and never-ending housework With her new work, artist Lisa Dittrich comments on both losing and rediscovering herself.
Dittrich: “Over the past few years, I’ve had some medical struggles and have lost four very important females in my life. It really got me thinking about how much we give up of our selves — to our marriages, to our children and to our communities. I can no longer do some of the things that I’d like to do, and yet around the house, there are still things that need to get done. Now, I am a slave to an illness. Why should I spend all my time doing these remedial tasks on the days that I’m feeling good, when I can spend it doing the things that I love while I still can? I gave up my last name, my uterus, sometimes my sanity, and now my health. But that little tiny bit that is left, that still makes me me, is my art. So this is why I have come back to my painting again, and have learned that the bondage that was keeping me down or enslaved was the guilt; the guilt that we are programmed with at such a young age. I’m more than just a piece of furniture, or a maid, or a concubine. I am a woman. The housework that has enslaved me most of my life can now wait.”
Blackbird Studios, 1551 S. Commerce St., blackbirdstudioslv.com
Joy Snyder and Kathryn Gilbert
Abstract fronds waving in currents of color, fingerprints march along like stems of sea coral crowning a marine peacock by Kathryn Gilbert. Bulbed red eyes goggle upon an abstract robotic portrait. Both works exemplify the playful color-bright synergy that has come to define the works of Sporadica artists Joy Snyder and Kathryn Gilbert.
Snyder: “Painterly painting is a very loose method of under-painting; lacing colors randomly with your hands or a large brush to cover your canvas. This form of art is madefor mistakes! The more you make the better the painting may turn out. Not always, of course, but sometimes. Who knew that fluorescent pink would work?
“Call both of us shallow if you want, but we both laugh when people ask one of us the meaning of something we have done. Maybe we have both just had good lives, although there have been personal hard times for both, or we are just crazy enough to think we are well-balanced. Probably not a lot of meaning, just love of color, watching the piece evolve and the total enjoyment in producing it.”
Sporadica Designs, 520 Fremont St. (in Emergency Arts), sporadicadesigns.com