Let It Shine

Mike Shine has a way of turning the strange into the familiar. He mixes carnivals, Nordic mythology, and surf-and-skate culture — and by the time he’s done with them, they seem like a natural fit. His subtly disturbing otherworldly characters and stark colors resemble the work of comic book artists from the 1960s and '70s such as R. Crumb and Bill Griffith. But unlike some of the Pop Surrealists influenced by the same movements, Shine’s work isn’t dominated by tired themes such as naked women or creepy kids with big eyes. He uses house paint on found objects such as driftwood, buoys, and bottles. His current show, “Flotsam’s Wonder World,” gives him the chance to expand into 3-D and performance. Justin Giarla, the gallery owner, said he got the space — a former auto repair shop with warehouse dimensions — specifically with Shine in mind. Giarla describes the opening reception as an “art opera,” including films, music, a carnival tent, games, and more than 200 mixed-media pieces. The show is interactive in nature: Whereas we’ve long been trained not to touch artwork — often for good reason — Shine has designed art that people are encouraged to touch, spin, and otherwise manipulate.

The opening reception for “Flotsam’s Wonder World” starts at 7 p.m.
Sept. 18-Oct. 30, 2010

 
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