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James Smolleck
at Sala Diaz, San Antonio, Texas
Recommendation by Dan R. Goddard

James Smolleck, ink drawing from ''Neophyte Doublestare into the Eighth Dimension,'' 2012.


Continuing through April 22, 2012


Known for his small, symbol-laden paintings in the style of the Flemish masters, James Smolleck ventures here into large-scale installation, "Neophyte Doublestare into the Eighth Dimension." He transforms the front rooms of this community gallery, housed in one-half of a ramshackle duplex, into an enigmatic, vaguely Renaissance-style ritual space.  Large, primarily black-and-white ink drawings of mysterious alchemists and human/animal hybrids are arrayed on the recently painted (by the artist) white walls. 


A procession of golden honeybees rises from a hive up to the priestess’ bed chamber. A curving cobra is pierced by a tree limb. Wearing Buster Brown shoes, a nude male figure with a ram’s head attends to a monstrous bird, sporting a female head, that is urinating a golden stream into a bowl. The floor of the gallery, also revamped by Smolleck, is now covered with a black-and-white checkerboard pattern with a giant circle cut out, which appears in the next room with a jagged dagger running around its edge. Smolleck’s play of subconscious symbols is a metaphysical puzzle, a fantasy flavored installation that eerily lifts the veil to another dimension.

Sala Diaz

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