Author: Sierra Nicole Rhoden

Geoffrey Todd Smith and Josh Mannis at Western Exhibitions

Western Exhibitions opened two corresponding exhibits this month– Looker, a collection of Geoffrey Todd Smith’s intricate geometric paintings, and Fashion, a hypnotic video installation by Josh Mannis. Smith painstakingly works acrylic, gouache, and ink into colorful optical candy reminiscent of spirograph drawings and beadwork. Whimsical titles like Indecent Docent and The Flirtation Station provide the abstract works with an extra layer of intrigue. Some of the works sport neutral color schemes like cream and camel flirting with repetitions of black. The more color-saturated pieces are seldom consistently bright, but instead feature unexpected accents of subdued shades. The most captivating are the compositions with meticulous gel pen linework over  elliptical patterns, like the red-and-purple-schemed Gentlemen Crawler (Detail shown above. Image courtesy of Western Exhibitions).   Josh Mannis’s Fashion inhabits the second exhibit space deeper within the gallery. The domineering work features a dancer in a tracksuit and an altered Bob Gates mask cutting loose with no holds barred to catchy, scratchy house music. His plethora of party-appropriate dance skills is multiplied and layered in bouts of …

Caleb Weintraub’s Nightmarish Dreamscapes

Grotesque animals, violent battles, and neon colors–these are the things that nightmares are made of in Caleb Weintraub’s exhibit at the Peter Miller Gallery. Weintraub’s saturated oil paintings wander through mysterious storybook dystopias with motifs that walk the line between Disney and The Lord of the Flies. “To The Death” follows two tribal-clad, ostrich-riding children at war in the desert, the highlight being their painstakingly rendered determined expressions. A few steps away, the viewer is immersed in the terrifying whimsy by a colorful, cluttered, life-sized sculptural diorama called “Snowglobe-A Plastic Dream”—a clear plexiglass dome filled with a crocodile, ostriches, and a Moulin Rouge-style master of ceremonies, while children sporting animal skins peer out desperately for an escape.  The scene is made all the more unsettling by the fact that it is not fully enclosed–when attempting to walk deeper into the gallery the figures spill out of one open side, threatening to follow your path. The show is perhaps not one for the squeamish, but the depths of juvenile anxiety make for a fascinating journey. Caleb …