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When: June 27-Aug. 25 2013
Price: free
All good art begins with a risk. Many of the ones in Risk, now at the Berkeley Art Center, pay off. Others probably shouldn’t have seen the light of day. For instance, Becky Johnson’s “Gorilla vs. Elk,” which sketches the titular combatants shooting rainbows out of their mouths at one another, and Michael Martin’s “Playground, Berlin,” a photograph of a toddler seemingly imprisoned behind a metal gate, smack of the self-conscious irony and obvious symbolism that most curators would politely pass over. But then there are works like Cathy Lu’s “Girls Playing,” which portrays a disembodied scalp and gouged-out eyeballs serving as maypole to a horde of tiny pig-tailed girl-creatures, and Nuala Creed’s “Mea Culpa,” a sculpture of a bare-bottomed nun kneeling in prayer. These, too, certainly raise eyebrows, but ultimately succeed by pointing back to the compelling specificities and eccentricities of their creators. Expect plenty more of the good, the bad, and the ugly in this unusual show.
— Alex Bigman


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