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It Takes All Kinds 

When: March 7-April 12 2009

Several years ago, art critics observed that Surrealism had influenced advertising more than it had "high" art; indeed, Mad Ave found a useful attention-grabbing tool in absurdist juxtaposition. Mass-media culture in all its guises, including the commercial, has shaped contemporary art, so the subconscious is alive and well, though no longer subversive. The work of John Stuart Berger, Ken Davis, Shorty Fatz, Political Gridlock, Matt Richie,and Task 1 embraces industrial design, graffiti, cartooning, propaganda, street art, and hip-hop/skateboard culture. Berger's eccentric paintings of imaginary-animal protagonists ("Zombie Herbivore"), Gridlock's political posters and showbiz satires ("Britney," "Gwen"), Richie's hermetic icon/spirograph drawings (foot bones labeled "n" and "s," a horseshoe crab labeled "earthling"), Davis' transformed scavenged materials and his drawings of skeletonized lovelies ("Lucinda" and "Phyllis"), and Task 1's bas-reliefs merging abstraction and landscape prove that pop surrealism is nothing if not widely eclectic. It Takes All Kindsrunsthrough April 26 at Autobody Fine Art (1517 Park St., Alameda). or 510-865-2608.

— DeWitt Cheng


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