When an artist specializes in drawing people in furry suits and designing plushy toys, it's probably pretty easy to veer off into the realm of "too cute." Erin Currie manages to avoid this world of pastel overkill by culling inspiration less from Hello Kitty and more from old (and very dark) folklore tales. "Curster's Fantastico," her first gallery show, features paintings and fiber sculptures of imps, octopuses, and balloons filled with plumes of colors. Just like cruel, old-fashioned fairy tales, some images feel safe, happy, and celebratory while others have a certain wariness and unease to them. Aesthetically, imagine a fantastical dreamscape where The Life Aquatic, Where the Wild Things Are, and Stewie from Family Guy all meet. As a child Currie dabbled in the art of rosemaling, a traditional Norwegian decorative painting style, which combined with her ominously bright and cute subjects creates an odd carnival mix of old world and new.
April 23-May 31, 2008