For its second show, the new Amanda Harris Gallery of Contemporary Art has taken a 180, switching out Wess Dahl-berg's desert night landscapes and densely painted abstract works for the pop/cartoon stylings of Juan Muniz and Dillon Boy.
In POP, Locked and Loaded, opening September 8, the two Las Vegas artists subvert iconically wholesome cartoon darlings, injecting them with dark humor and irreverence.
- POP, Locked and Loaded
- Through Sept. 29. Thursdays and Fridays, 6-9 p.m.; Saturdays, 2-7 p.m. Opening reception Sept. 8, 7:30-10 p.m.
- The Amanda Harris Gallery of Contemporary Art inside SoHo Lofts, 900 Las Vegas Blvd. South, 769-6036.
Muniz, whose bunny, Felipe, has blanketed parts of the Arts District—gallery shows, Downtown street events and murals—leaves the bunny behind to focus on the ‘80s cartoon characters he grew up with, infusing them with ironic misfortune, humor and mischief. Smurfs, Snorks, My Little Pony and Strawberry Shortcake meet urban aesthetic in his new works.
Dillon Boy, known for f-bomb-dropping Batman and Robin paintings, Mickey Mouse-meets-graffiti art, and the lip-locked Superman and Wonder Woman, turns chaste Disney princesses into promiscuous characters unfit for the G-rated films that launched them into fairy tale stardom.
The image on the exhibit flyer probably sums it up best: a naked Snow White, covered in old-school tattoos holding to her chest little dolls of Dillon Boy and Felipe.
"I wanted to do something different," says Muniz when asked about dropping his trademark bunny for the show. "Felipe has been around town. A lot of people know that bunny. I wanted to take the cartoons I was raised with and make them as twisted as I could."
It's a common narrative in urban/pop art movements where otherwise cuddly cartoon characters or iconic superheroes are taken out of their traditional roles for colorful, immediate works somewhat shunned by art critics, but popular and increasingly familiar in galleries, on city buildings and in advertising.
Strawberry Shortcake purists may want to sit this one out.