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Three themes

Just in time for Trimania, Buffalo Arts Studio will open three simultaneous art exhibitions with international themes in its cavernous gallery space. Here's a rundown of what will be on view:

Ghana-born artist George Hughes, who teaches in the University at Buffalo's visual studies department, deals in strange and unexpected juxtapositions. Among the varied and ambitious intentions of his fantastical mixed-media works and paintings, as he wrote in a statement, is "to blur distinctions between the familiar and the novel, between skeletons and bloated flesh, bar codes and body parts, military insignia and domestic objects."

Similarly ambitious in scope is the work of Craig LaRotunda, a successful Buffalo-born illustrator now based in New York City whose strangely lachrymose work has appeared prominently in many national publications. LaRotunda's approach as a noncommercial painter is even darker, featuring necrotic nudes painted most often in acrylic on wood panels, which gives them the look of zombified medieval devotional paintings. All of this, he writes, is an attempt to explore "the unspeakable nature of human consciousness and the experience of life and death."

Things take a turn for the optimistic in a series of paintings by Rob Lynch, a local drummer and painter who will both exhibit work and perform at Trimania. His work, he writes, is "filled with a curious mix of delightful highs and heavy lows" that "point to an absurd, beautiful existence." His work, rendered in resplendent colors, seems to be a reflection of Lynch simply following his oddest whims wherever they may lead.

Trimania will also feature a one-night sculptural-based installation by Cooperstown-based artist Jeremy Holmes. The other three shows run through May 21.

-- Colin Dabkowski

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