Drug trip stories, like stories about car accidents or bad dates, make great icebreakers. Maybe that's why Cliff Hengst and Scott Hewicker's newest project, Good Times: Bad Trips, feels so intimate. The book melds chatty freak-out stories from contributors such as Devendra Banhart, Kevin Killian, and Larry Rinder with photographs, collages, and paintings by the artists, augmenting the text with colorful, frequently psychedelic illustrations and backgrounds. At "S.A.N.E. with Good Times: Bad Trips" (timed to coincide with the book's release), Hengst and Hewicker expound on the trippy theme. The show's title stands for "something, anything, nothing, everything," which seems fitting considering the mind-expanding quality of the artwork included here. Hewicker shows paintings that invoke visionary worlds, while Hengst fills the walls with obsessive, paranoic, all-caps text so large and dense it feels like you're trapped uncomfortably inside his wobbling mind ("MY MEDS MAKE ME NAUSEOUS. MY GLANDS BEHIND MY EARS ARE SWOLLEN. I OFTEN THINK PEOPLE ARE TALKING ABOUT ME BEHIND MY BACK."). A video from Hewicker uses the style of B movies to invoke the monsters hidden in his subconscious. The show as a whole turns the gallery into a cathartic, subverted space weird enough to induce a pink elephant or two.
Oct. 15-Nov. 3, 2007