Altered Esthetics makes art, not ads for 'Adverti$ing'

James Powell; Kiss my mASScot (series)

James Powell; Kiss my mASScot (series)

During a month in which many of us consume more than usual, especially when it comes to eating scrumptious food or buying the perfect gift, Altered Esthetics has created an exhibition that uses ironic imagery to point out the deluge of advertising we are subjected to, and often succumb to.

Beginning today, the community-based art gallery in Northeast Minneapolis opens "Adverti$ing," a show in which 26 artists present perspectives on consumerism, branding, and advertising via printmaking, painting, photography, and collage.


It's a colorful and entertaining show that features a few pieces by James Powell, including a garish image of a Ronald McDonald-looking creature eating a sloppy burger, and a Micky Mouse image in which the character has become, well, a square.

Other artists include Margaret Gamache and Sarah Sosa, each of whom assembled startling collages that highlight the ridiculousness of female-targeted advertising that, even as we near the year 2011, still appears to cater to 1950's-style stereotypes. You'll be shaking your head, and maybe even laughing, at images that were supposed to influence people in the past, as well as wondering about what's going on with advertisers today. Painter David Holmes, who specializes in realism, has a piece in the exhibition that shows a downtown Minneapolis street scene that is dominated by the familiar red and white Target logo.

On Friday December 3, join in the fun at the opening reception for "Adverti$ing" from 7 to 10 p.m. Practice your perfect ad-worthy smile for the photo booth. If you like what you see and want to find out even more about pieces on display, gallery goers are also invited to the artists' discussion on Saturday, December 18 at 1 p.m. For more information, visit Altered Esthetics (1224 Quincy St. NE, Minneapolis; 612.378.8888). Gallery hours are Tuesdays and Thursdays from 1 to 7 p.m., Saturdays from 1 to 5 p.m.