June 18th – August 14th

Modified Arts’ summer exhibition, ‘Reality Reimagined,’ assembles an international selection of artists whose deliberate use of characters, imagined worlds, and narrative in their work brings stories, commentary, and expression to life. Spanning a range of styles and media, the artists utilize the seemingly simple constructs of cartoon comics, textile construction, and character repetition to share their own contemporary vision, sometimes irreverent, sometimes frank, and always compelling. Artists include Phoenix-based Jon Haddock and Christy Puetz, and Rio de Janeiro artists Elvis Almeida (Amarelonegro Arte Contemporânea), and Carlos Contente (A Gentil Carioca).

Christy Puetz’s beaded dolls from a group titled, “The Secret Search” are characters in an elaborate tale in which the Secrets, “spend their time wandering through a silent and desolate landscape collecting and hiding secrets.” In their search for a method to communicate and quest to uncover the truth, the illusive booRadley and omnipotent Oracle become elemental to their story.

Both Carlos Contente and Elvis Almeida are young Rio de Janeiro artists with influences in underground traditions of cartoons and graffiti. Elvis creates contemporary comics and storied characters in mixed media on paper. In his work the traditional comic strip is frequently morphed into a misfit collection of individual panels linked in a loose narrative.

Carlos often creates work incorporating what he calls his alter-ego. It is a self-portrait that can be infinitely reproduced by means of stamps or stencils. This stamped figure is present in much of his work and shares the paper or canvas with pencil drawings, simultaneously delicate and bizarre, that demonstrate a perverse humor. Cristina Salgado says of his work, “Contente implements itself in multiple and absurd bodies, like strange characters that structure equally absurd fictions, where text and image are mingled. The drawings as stories proliferate and gradually saturate the walls during the exhibition period, like an organism continuously growing.”

The idea of evolution is present throughout the exhibition, including in its presentation. Throughout its two month run, visitors will be able to experience quiet changes in the show. From the addition of new characters and work from Brazilian artist Elvis Almieda, to a first person view of Jon Haddock’s four part comic strip as it develops, this dynamic exhibition will continually provide a reason to return throughout the summer. All of the acclaimed artists in the exhibition offer incredible work that is very accessible to collectors of any level.

In the front room

In addition to Reality Reimagined in the main gallery, work by some of Modified Arts’ favorite artists is on view in the front room. Artists include Sue Chenoweth, Jen Urso, Dominic Miller, and Jon Haddock.