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We think of this as the age of globalism, but conflicts between the local and the global are not entirely new. For Brantley Ellzey, who grew up in the Deep South, the clash between pop culture and old time religion is an ongoing interest. What they have in common is an emphasis on iconic imagery, which Ellzey uses as the basis for his elaborate constructions. MADONNA, right, suggests an altar, but not for any Blessed Virgin. No, it’s the material girl herself as she appeared in colorful magazine photos framed by an elaborate abstract grid of colorful, pencil-thin rolled magazine pages arranged at right angles reminiscent of Mondrian’s modernist paintings. In HELL, above, another grid looks chaotic as bunches of askew rolled pages frame antique engravings of demons. Order returns in HEAVEN, a minimal white grid that is almost oppressive in its regimented regularity, while ADAM, a human form constructed entirely from rolled pages, stands as fatefully stoic as the Burning Man effigy. But more than any one theme, it is the intricate inventiveness of these constructions that is the basis of their seductive intrigue.
TRUE RELIGION, SACRED AND PROFANE: Constructions by Brantley Ellzey
Soren Christensen Gallery, 400 Julia St., 569-9501; www.sorengallery.com
TACTUS: New Oil and Encaustic Paintings by Paul Tarver
Cole Pratt Gallery, 3800 Magazine St., 891-6789; www.coleprattgallery.com