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 V.15 No.3 | January 19 - 25, 2006 

Gallery Review

Would You Like Some Fries with Your Rhombus?

The Collective at the Trillion Space

“Animas” by Dan Garcia
“Animas” by Dan Garcia

Not many people can afford to buy an entire mural. Even if they could afford one, most people couldn't fit it into their homes. A piece of a mural, however, is more manageable, both economically and spatially. Dan Garcia and Rocky Norton recently constructed an elaborate abstract mural on a masonite wall in the Trillion Space. They've decided to sell the thing at the reasonable rate of a mere $40 per square foot. You'll have a tough time finding a better contemporary art bargain.

A show consisting mostly of Garcia's work has been on display at the Downtown art space for the past couple weeks. On Friday, Jan. 20, the pair will host a closing reception during which visitors will be allowed to whip out a marker and claim their own little piece of the mural.

As an added bonus, Norton says you don't necessarily have to mark out a perfect square. They're open to the possibility of other shapes as well—trapezoids, rhombuses, triangles or other polygons. I suppose circles or ovoids are an option, too, although a certain amount of guess-timating will probably be necessary to determine the price of less conventional shapes given that neither Garcia nor Norton hold accredited degrees in geometry.

Garcia and Norton’s mural will soon be cut into pieces.
Garcia and Norton’s mural will soon be cut into pieces.

Even if you don't want to purchase your own little piece of the pie, it's worth checking out this show. Both artists are skateboarders, and the exhibit has a definite skate-punk feel to it. (You might recall that Norton hosted a skateboard deck exhibit in this gallery a while back.) The mural is the most imposing element, but your attention will also be drawn to other tidbits.

Garcia's paintings are rough-hewn jobs that are cut and ground and razored till they take on an exhausted, agitated quality. "Animas," for example, presents the outline of two nude women. One is a mere kneeling shadow in the dark lower right corner. The other stretches out along the entire left side of the image, her body filled with lines, squiggles and blotches that seem to suggest an active, and perhaps tortured, inner life.

Art by the square foot ...
Art by the square foot ...

Another piece, "Engrams," incorporates a round disk of alien symbols resembling crop circles. Other work, such as a dark untitled painting that shares a wall with "Engrams," uses the same dimensions and similar techniques to create a largely abstract space punctuated with right angles and floating, incomplete floral imagery.

The opposite wall consists of bits of Garcia's drawings and other work combined with Norton's photographs, taped in a chaotic pattern ornamented with the bloody red sneaker prints. The mural itself is a waving fluid composition bookended by two humanoid silhouettes with a heart motif embedded in the chaos of it all and lots of dripping paint to give the thing a weathered, beaten look. It's a nice piece that I suspect will look even nicer chopped into 20 or 30 pieces (perhaps to be reassembled, jigsaw-like, at a later date).

During the exhibit's opening reception, a lady offered to buy the entire mural. Thankfully, she never came up with the cash. This means you'll have a second chance to own your very own piece of this piece. Stop by early, though, to mark out the most prime stretches of real estate.

The Collective, an exhibit featuring work by Dan Garcia, runs through Jan. 22 at the Trillion Space (510 Second Street NW). A closing reception will be held on Friday, Jan. 20, from 6:30 to 10 p.m. 550-4992.

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