Friday, September 28, 2012

Don't Miss Master MEME Tonight at the PRØVE

Dan Hansen (left) with Lucas Anderson

Fans of the local Twin Ports visual arts scene have had plenty to buzz about in recent years. And it just keeps getting better. Tonight, the PRØVE Collective and Lizzard's Gallery offer two great excuses for heading downtown. And if you're checking out one, there's no need to move the car because the other is just around the corner. 

Master MEME: Art by Daniel Hansen and Lucas Anderson

Daniel Hansen is a local disabled artist exploring pop culture, '80s pixelation, and contemporary issues. Lucas Anderson teaches art locally at Marshall Academy. The show features individual work and art they have created collaboratively. This is the capstone show for the PRØVE's first year, and it's nothing short of a "must see", even if only for the spirit in which the work has been generated and generously shared with our community.

I met Anderson this past spring through the DAI-sponsored film series Shock of the New. Last night I met Hansen for the first time as they dynamic duo were putting the finishing touches on what will be tonight's event, which is primarily Hansen's work.

I had asked Hansen how he'd become interested in art as a profession. He explained, "My interest is because it's time to get my art out there. I've been drawing since I was 3. My story is that I've had a progressive neuromuscular disease called Spinal Muscular Atrophy type 2 (or SMA). The onset was at infancy so I've always been confined to a wheelchair."

This handicap has not restrained Hansen from pursuing his passions. In advance of our meeting I asked him to briefly share his story.

"I grew up in Grand Marais the son of Mark Hansen who founded North House Folk School. I've been at the sidelines observing everyone living and achieving normal things that were absurdly complicated or impossible to pull off. Every aspect of my life requires innovation and mastery on account of gradual muscular weakening. It just so happens art is merely a side affect of my paradigm shredding circumstance. The burning desire to defy all conventions and set new precedences is my morning cup of coffee! My medium is digital. The world of illusions are my inspiration. Fun, trans-mutational, fascination are the undercurrents of everything I do...the rest is open to interpretation." 

Last night as I looked at Hansen's work it became that fun really is the operative word in much of what he pulls off here. For example, the large piece titled Chico Strikes Back is a humorous portrayal of the forgotten Marx brother who had not gotten the recognition of his other siblings. Chico is at the piano, but the stock market index atop the instrument shows a declining market value. One wonders what he's doing with that loaded gun in his hand.

Upon entering the gallery one is struck by the scale and vivid color in Hansen's pieces. On the left ad you enter is a picture titled Cheyenne. Cheyenne is a girl Hansen met via the internet whom he has talked with on the phone for seven years. The picture reflects some of the chaos in Cheyenne's life. He says she has been a great influence on him.

Another piece, titled Cake or Pi, Hansen describes as "me jamming out."

Time: 7 - 11 p.m.
Free admission, refreshments by donation
If you've never been, the PROVE is located downstairs from the Sons of Norway Hall on Lake Avenue across from the Technology Center.

Chico Strikes Back

Art About Stories... paintings by Tom Tyler

Lizzard's Art Gallery at 11 West Superior Street (across from the MN Power Building) is hosting an opening reception tonight for their new exhibition of paintings by Minneapolis artist Tom Tyler. The work in this collection is primarily based on quotes or literature, books by Hemingway, Melville, Jack London, Joseph Conrad and even Greek mythology. Though the themes in his work vary, the written word serves as a common thread.

Considering the selection of writers cited, I am already drawn to this artist and look forward to seeing tonight's show.

Tyler's work has texture and movement, undoubtedly influence by the 20th century German Expressionists whom he admires. A full-time painter, he has a BA in studio art from the University of Minnesota, where he studied with painters Jo Lutz Rollins and Cameron Booth. His work has been exhibited in Minnesota, California and New Mexico. 

Can't make it tonight? Tyler's work will be on the walls at Lizzards through November 10. Check it out.

Meantime, life goes on. See you on the beat.

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