“Tovrea Dreams” Rafael Navarro

“Visions of Phoenix: Reality and Surreality”
A Group Show
December 19, 2014-January 10, 2015

Opening Reception: Third Friday, December 19, 6-9pm
Closing Reception: First Friday, January 2, 6-10pm

Modified Arts is proud to present “Visions of Phoenix: Reality and Surreality,” running from Third Friday, December 19 through Saturday, January 10, with an additional reception on First Friday, January 2.

Not so long ago, Phoenix was aching for someone to embrace its character. Those looking for points of pride instead found only an embrace of the absurd, an embrace of absence rather than presence. Today, however, after countless investments in both sweat equity and PR dollars, the city is finding itself with an almost outsized outlay in the championing of its name. Boutiques large and small are filled with city-centric designs both kitschy and edgy, adorning every single kind of clothing or accessory with local iconography. But if we look honestly, the transformation isn’t quite as complete as the PR portrait would tell you.

For this exhibition, curator Connor Descheemaker has put together seven artists who, while proud of the place in which they reside, are willing to point out all parts of the city. Rather than simple wide-eyed portraits, these artists take local images and twist them to embrace surrealism, multi-layered meanings, and even lingering bits of wasteland which still litter the local landscape.

Sean Deckert’s photographic-based installation depicts a city both pre- and post-apocalyptic; Laura Spalding Best’s paintings share a city struggling with a split desert identity; Randal Wilson’s painterly snapshots feature spaces from the fringe, housed in ramshackle, DIY frames—each artist provides his or her respective media twist to share the city with which they are best acquainted.

Phoenix has come a long way, but a little honesty, or even exaggeration, could stand to lighten the local temperament.

Featured artists: James Angel, Laura Spalding Best, Aileen Frick, Randal Wilson, Rafael Navarro, Dana Buhl, Sean Deckert.

Gallery Hours:
Local First Arizona staff:
Monday-Friday, 9 a.m.-5 p.m.
Gallery staff:
First Friday, 6-10 p.m.
Third Friday, 6-9 p.m.
Saturday, 12-4 p.m.
Or by appointment, scheduled by E-mail.

Modified Arts
407 E. Roosevelt St.
Phoenix, AZ 85004