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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


    ‘Part(ying)’ it up at UA gallery

    Part(ying) it up at UA gallery

    There’s a party going on at the Lionel Rombach Gallery and it’s the coolest party you’ll ever go to. Or so says artist Andrew Shuta. “”Part(ying): a mash up”” is the gallery’s latest exhibition and it features work from multi-talented Andrew Shuta, a UA senior studying studio art, English and creative writing. The exhibit is an amalgamation of three parts.

    Part one of the exhibit is called “”Critics…jeeze!”” Detailed instructions next to the artist statement turn the exhibition into a game. Viewers are told what to do at this “”party,”” including how to mingle and to be sure to put your head through the cardboard cut-out so you can be the best art critic there ever was. Interaction with the piece is crucial to the feeling of making new acquaintances in the art.

    “”It had a whimsical tone but at the same time it was creepy because the faces and proportions made the figures look almost inhuman,”” said Marisa Heung, a creative writing senior. “”I liked how it looked cartoonish from far away but when you get up close it’s intricate. It had a surreal quality to it, lifelike but kind of abstract at the same time.””

    “”Critics…jeeze!”” is a series of deflated cardboard boxes painted white with caricatured people drawn on them. They wear “”Hello, my name is”” stickers and are drawn in a scribbled manner that is both sloppy but concisely finished. A pyramid of empty beer boxes sits in the corner, adding to the house-party atmosphere. The canvasses themselves, being cardboard boxes, are flimsy and falling apart, as if the people are one-dimensional and fake. The works suggest that what’s drawn on the boxes is a faÇõade; that everyone at their base level is simply cardboard, no matter how you dress it up. The last step to follow in this party situation is to “”realize that this party is boring.””

    Shuta usually works in a variety of mediums and this exhibit is an amalgamation of his many mediums that he can explore.

    “”Tucson is weird these days…”” seems like a mural of angry faces and caricatures of people that Shuta has seen on the streets of Tucson, especially because the subtitle for the piece is “”Just look to the streets after downtown bars close.”” An anthropomorphized pony with a switchblade in its pocket has its arm outstretched, handing you a cocktail of pills. An anarchist four-legged creature in sneakers growls at you as you walk by. An upside-down staircase is where most of the characters seem to congregate with their sorrows. One image is of a girl curled up and crying – most of the people look angry, sad, or a mixture of both.

    “”It seemed kind of vague because it had a lot of different pictures but at the same time the images were defined,”” said Heung of the disjointed moralistic quality to the piece.

    “”Difference”” combines minimalist poems with expressionist charcoal drawings. One poem reads, “”Hand me something/ A cold drink/ Something tactile something/ I can touch to remember you.”” The other poems read associatively and reveal an obsession with the hands and eyes and how they interact. The poems spill into the charcoal drawings. Each picture seems to be swaying and moving, with expressionistic forms of hands reaching out and eyes trying to take in the world around them.

    In his artist statement, Shuta claims that “”Art has gotten me in trouble; art has saved me from trouble; art has been serious play; art has been played seriously; art is fun; art is boring; art is creation; creation is all I want to do.””

    This stream-of-consciousness statement is the epitome of Shuta’s work: a mixture of artistic mediums that don’t take themselves too seriously and create a human experience and interaction in the gallery environment.

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