Sean Mulholland’s piece is an optical illusion in the simplest way.
The artist from Talent, Oregon, didn’t incorporate holograms or computerized parts in his piece. He simply printed his picture on metal.
“It looks different from different angles,” Jason Andreasen says. “It’s fun. The effect is also amazing.”
Andreasen is executive director of Baton Rouge Gallery, which is showing its “Surreal Salon 7” through Jan. 29. Mulholland’s digital print, “iMAC Photobooth Selfie Emailed to 1994,” is one of the show’s 58 featured pieces.
And Andreasen is right. Walk from one side to the other, and the print changes, offering a different perspective of reality.
Which is the point of Baton Rouge Gallery’s “Surreal Salon” exhibitions. Artists have different ways of seeing things, and their work doesn’t always fit in neat categories.
“We have a lot of artists in this area who work in this area, and this show gives their work a chance to be seen,” Andreasen says. “Every year, our juror never knows the artists’ names or where they’re from. Only the work is judged, but a lot of work by area artists always gets chosen for this show.”
This year’s juror was California-based artist Shag, whose real name is Josh Agle. Shag’s work in pop surrealist and lowbrow art has gained international acclaim.
Shag narrowed down more than 550 entries to the 58 now on exhibit in Baton Rouge Gallery’s show. “Shag is affiliated with Greg Escalante, who judged our show last year,” Andreasen says.
Escalante is co-founder of Juxtapose magazine, which focuses on the pop surrealist and lowbrow art genre. He not only judged the previous show, but also lectured at LSU and attended the Surreal Salon Soiree, an annual party coinciding with the show.
Shag will attend this year’s soiree on Jan. 24, where the exhibit’s “Best in Show” will be announced. This work will be prominently featured in Juxtapoz magazine’s April issue.
“Shag will be giving an artist’s talk on Jan. 25,” Andreasen says. “Greg Escalante told him about the show and the soiree, and Shag said, ‘Hey, I want to be a part of this.’ Now he is.”
Works range from drawings and prints to technical pieces, including Durham, North Carolina artist Tony Waldron’s installation, “Adolescent Eyes.”
The piece features a tripod bearing five iPhones, each connected to a different form of social media. The phones are programmed to take photos, then send the photo to the different social media sites.
“It’s a commentary on our use of social media,” Andreasen says.
The piece will be well-lighted once it’s standing in the gallery.
“That’s one of the things visitors will notice when they walk into this show,” Andreasen says. “Baton Rouge Gallery has been in this building in City Park for 30 years. It partnered with BREC in 1984, and BREC, along with the BREC Foundation, has been able to help us with new lighting. It’s state-of-the-art LED lighting.”
Installation of the new lighting was completed a week before “Surreal Salon 7” opened.
“We’re excited that we were able to introduce the lighting with this show,” Andreasen says. “This is probably our biggest show of the year.”