Look What I Found and Oh My God by Eleventh Wundr
Gamut Gallery, a downtown space that's been around for about a year, has hit its stride with "Almost Yesterday," a show featuring pieces by street artist Eleventh Wundr. You might recognize Eleventh Wundr's style, as his work appears all around Minneapolis: the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles homage on the back wall of the Loon Grocery, murals outside of Intermedia Arts, plus various birds and other characters on post boxes, phone booths, the Greenway, and more.
'Gold Press' performs this weekend at Gamut Gallery
Freestyle Cowboy by Elevent Wundr
"Almost Yesterday" feels referential, examining the act of graffiti making. In one work, Wundr depicts a character drawing a heart on the ground. In another, someone is spray painting a wall. There's even an image of a canister displayed on a pedestal with a symbolic cloud of paint behind it. Wundr also references his background in street art by including pieces that are painted on found objects, such as an old ironing board, drawers, and other random scraps.
The figures themselves are cartoonish, with a combination of adult and childlike traits. Some have childlike faces and adult bodies, while others appear to have elderly faces, but they are partaking in some kid activity like playing with a train set. The characters recall the aesthetic of Mad Magazine and Garbage Pail Kids. Not exactly whimsical, they are gritty and playful -- dirty, almost -- but with a sense of fun as well.
Big Catch by Eleventh Wundr
One diptych depicts a yellow-tinged character with a pot belly and small, hollow white eyes wearing a bandana. He's joyfully holding up a rodent of some kind. Meanwhile, a second bluish character, also with his head covered, shines a spotlight at him. This is a piece that tells a story, much like many of the works in the show.
Another piece depicts two women (sort of; they have breasts but the legs of toddlers) with painted faces and a string of killed animals hung from a long stick they carry together on their shoulders. They both have guns and their heads are covered, and look a bit like nymphet Davy Crocketts.
Many of Wundr's subjects wear costumes, such as masks, capes, Darth Vader heads, and antlers. It's a show about these characters going on adventures, and pretending to be heroes and villains and whatever else their imaginations come up with. It's all quite joyful, but the joy contrasts with Wundr's muddy palette, the sprinkling of weapons, and the grotesque quality of his characters' bodies and faces.
IF YOU GO:
Through October 12
1006 Marquette Ave., Minneapolis