Garrett Perry's distorted whimsy

There's some kind of magical place artist Garrett Perry must know about. It's a place with rainbows and animal people, dancing musicians and floating heads. If you go there, you might get lost in all the shifting dimensions and dripping colors, and you also might grow an extra head or two or five. But you'll also go on wonderful adventures on boats, through mirrors, and fantastic parties. 

To experience this weird land, just follow the white rabbit all the way to SooVAC, where Perry's work is being shown with Sophia Heyman's similarly fantastical paintings for "Lovesickness with Trees." There, you'll find a delightful and curious collection of paintings that explore morbid and dastardly themes in a way that would make even Lewis Carroll proud. 

Take I Need the Sunlight to Keep Me Warm, for example. The small oil painting depicts a nude, multi-headed figure washed up on the shore, holding up a bouquet of flowers. The psychedelic heads float over the figure's shoulders, almost as if they are part of a bouquet themselves. The image is ethereal and peaceful, despite whatever terrible thing happened to the washed- up traveler, who perhaps thought too many thoughts and that's why he has so many heads. 

Perry's largest in the work in the show, All I Wanna Do is be Friends With You (You Knock Me Out), offers the most expansive view into Perry's world. There are some buffalo-head ladies dancing on a tabletop, a Renaissance minstrel kicking back some tunes, and a crowd full of ghost people meandering about. The pastel colors, the free-form shapes, the looming Greek bust, and the encroaching forest all suggest a place of dreams, but despite its chaos, you don't feel that it's an unwelcome place. It might be a tad scary at times, but overall, this would be an awesome place to hang out. 

If you ever get lost: don't worry. Just ask Perry's cat, which can be seen in A Cat, I am sure, Could Walk on a Cloud Without Coming Through. He's got a rainbow Cheshire smile and a quilted tummy, and his differently sized and differently colored eyes might make you wary, but don't worry. He'll tell you where to go. 


"Lovesickness with Trees: Recent Work by Sophia Heymans and Garrett Perry"

Through August 30


Hours are 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Wednesday through Friday, 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday and Sunday

Also at the gallery is "Critique of Pure Reason: Paintings by Benjamin Rogers"