Surrounded 2 

Frightening geography
Surrounded 2
Through Dec. 7 at Bold Hype
1844 E. Winter Park Road

Put to rest any doubt of the vibrancy of Orlando's art scene; it's here and now with talent and creativity still unfolding a year after the original Surrounded debuted at Bold Hype. With mock-ominous implications, visitors again will be "surrounded" by a dark, fatalistic undertone that addresses the Great Recession. In the visions created by 29 artists are new stories and ideas, and parallax views of uncivil horror, from a girl in a wagon amongst rusted-out jalopies to a bloody-handed backpacker in a decayed suburban ruin.

Well-known locals Dustin Orlando, Dolla, Doug Rhodehamel, Brice Stephens and Scott Scheidly all show fresh directions. And from other emerging artists, such as Phil Noto, we see the comic world writ large, and Adriaan Mol's polychromed street grafs jump off the wall into three-dimensional space. Elizabeth Shupe's Asian-themed "Seeing Spells" series captures the mysterious East on an old-world travel ticket of decoupaged wood plaques. Tele V. Cheeseburger lampoons liturgical art, suggesting that forgotten gods still party.

The disquieting, troubled female portraiture in the exhibition personifies alienated divas in sullen-sexy-angry stances. In Andrew Spear's tattoo-armed "Three Nineteen," the subject defiantly staring at the viewer could be 20 or 12. Patrick Fatica's three small portraits, with exaggerated alien eyes, portray a desperate desire to imbue youth with the beauty of a life yet to be lived.

With so many artists involved, Surrounded 2 documents the times. For example, "Rasputin," by Geramy Philipp Layug, was mistaken by one patron for Jesus Christ, a mistake perhaps emblematic of a new generation shorn of respect for Western culture and history. Dennis Hansbury's "The Lookout" is a small, hand-colored pen-and-ink work that captures the path on which the art is headed: to the off-world, lit by a primitive torch and the transient shimmer of the aurora borealis.

More by Rex Thomas


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