Tag Archives: Roq La Rue

Roq La Rue Group Show

A couple of days ago I dropped by Roq La Rue gallery with my friend Suzanne. She’d invited me to a group show called I’ll Love You ’til the End of the World. The gallery showcases pop art, surrealism, and underground contemporary works by a variety of artists. This exhibit focused on the theme of post-apocalypse (or rather post what-if-the-apocalypse-never-happens. Like it didn’t on December 12, 2012). It’s about continuing to live and what that means to the artists involved.

Some works that caught my eye:

Glory

Glory by Sarah Dolby

Forever Yours

Forever Yours by John Brophy

End of Her World

End of Her World by Laurie Lee Brom

Greg and Steve, On Vacation

Greg and Steve, On Vacation by Scott Musgrove

There are other great pieces too. Here’s the artist list: Camille Rose Garcia, Chris Berens, John Brophy, Martin Wittfooth, Nicola Verlato, Jean-Pierre Roy, Sarah Dolby, Eric Fortune, Jane Kenoyer, Sail, Laurie Lee Brom, Scott Musgrove, John Brosio, Travis Louie, and Marco Mazzoni.

group show

The exhibit runs through Feb 2, 2013 so hop on over if you’re in the Seattle area.

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Despain and Araujo at Roq la Rue

painting by Brian Despain

"The Deference Engine" by Brian Despain

My friends Suzanne and Angie organized lunch and a gallery visit today. We visited Roq la Rue in Seattle’s Belltown neighborhood. This gallery has always delivered; it’s the place to check out alternative contemporary, pop surrealism, and low-brow gothic art.

I hadn’t visited for a long time and the new exhibit featuring the work of Brian Despain and Mia Araujo was a great reason to get back to Roq la Rue.

The humanoid robots in Despain’s paintings, drawings, and sculptures exude a lot of emotions. They are sweet and evoke a smile, but they are set in a moody, dark world that is slightly unsettling.

The fine brushstrokes and realistic backdrops in his paintings could belong in a Renaissance portrait of a royal family member. To contrast that with the image of a robot is delightful. It’s deeper than a mere juxtaposition would suggest and I found myself looking at the pieces for a long time.

painting by Mia Araujo

"Bluebeard" by Mia Araujo

Also intriguing are the paintings of Araujo. Their style might be described as gothic-meets-Pre-Raphaelite. The subjects are elegant women, but the remainder of the spaces are filled with hidden symbols and imagery: skulls, candles, machines, tigers, and such.

Araujo borrows themes from mythology and literature and creates a haunting world in her paintings. It’s as though the entire contents of the subjects’ minds are displayed visually on the canvas. Normally, I revel in negative space, and there isn’t any in Araujo’s work; however, the pieces are captivating and they drew me in nonetheless.

The show runs through March 5, 2011. If you have a chance, go see it. If you don’t, be sure to visit the artists’ websites and visit Roq La Rue another time. They won’t disappoint.

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