Illusion Fusion Art Review

Exhibit Fuses Traditional, Popular Motifs

By Julian Bermudez, Gazette Art Writer

If you haven’t been to Gallery Wow Wow yet, I highly recommend you make every effort to do so. The gallery continues to display new works of art by emerging artists whose styles are unique and fresh to the eye.The last exhibition featured works by an artist who blended traditional motifs with current iconography from popular culture. Now, the gallery is offering its viewers the chance to see works that combine two or more unrelated images into one.

“Illusion Fusion” shows Chuck Brittenham’s digital concoctions, inviting the audience to take a deeper look at what it is they are seeing. “Each work tells a story that is unique to the individual,” Brittenham states. “I challenge you to look beyond the discernible subject matter and you may discover a veiled message that only your senses can decipher.”
Brittenham likens his works to fusion cuisine. By using a digital darkroom, he is able to mix images along with textures and color. His purpose is to convey to individuals “the lost splendor of our sprawling urban environment.” According to him, “the works are a subtle blend of the natural and artificial elements that surround us each and every day but that oftentimes get lost in the cluttered landscape and sensory overload of modern life.”

When you look at each piece, it doesn’t take a genius (or an art connoisseur) to know that what you are looking at is an amalgam of multiple images. But, what happens is this effect that draws the individual towards a certain work of art. And, it doesn’t occur for everybody in exactly the same way.

“I think they’re very nice,” said Peggy, a visitor to the gallery. “I think the horse is pretty amazing,” she added, referring to the"Equus" print.

Perhaps the amazement comes from Brittenham’s layering of hues and shapes that aren’t commonly brought together. Or maybe it’s just the fact that many of his works blend the organic with the unnatural. You know, trees mixed with buildings or an animal within a menagerie. The point of Brittenham’s work is actually to force viewers to look more deeply into an image, thereby looking deeper into themselves.

While his works may be a reaction to the overabundance of imagery, Brittenham’s digital creations are a forced expression of sensory overload. Think of it as a visual “if you can’t beat them, join them.” The exhibit offers more than 20 works ranging from wrapped canvas prints to framed giclees. Unlike the canvas works, there are multiples of various prints.

“Illusion Fusion” adds to the current trend of mixing a variety of elements onto one canvas (or scene). The difference is Brittenham’s sensibilities towards color, shapes and composition. Clearly, he is having fun with his work, but you don’t sense any chaos. There is a method to his madness.

Entainment News
Thursday, March 22, 2007