Despite the wishes of some misanthropes, it seems unlikely that any one individual is ever truly isolated from the world. Whether this is a sign of the present times or just the way humanity works, this sense that all humans are connected has obviously inspired local artist Jim Dryden. His images are Picasso-esque, and his most recent series of paintings unfolds in three parts. Part one consists of single portraits of individual men, their faces boldly etched in black, skin shaded in warm golds, browns, and the occasional cool blue. Each gazes out with only one eye; the loss of the second eye represents disconnect between the individual and humanity. Part two features soft-hued paintings of male couples, these images more dreamlike, representing the connection shared between friends and lovers. The series culminates in the third part, which is one large painting of the quilt motif often referred to as the Double Wedding Ring. Here all individuals inhabit one space, representing a togetherness shared between all aspects of the human experience. We're not an island, or even a continent, we're a shared globe. Opening reception 6-9 p.m. Saturday, March 15.
March 13-April 17, 2008