We have no idea how the current storybook "fantastical creature" genre of art started, but we can only assume some crack illustrator had an Audubon fever dream and started assembling animal parts like Dr. Frankenstein's kid sister. Although the leading dictate of the realm is "make it cute," the work is usually cut with the same deadly seriousness that haunts most fairy tales. At the group exhibition "Duck Soup,"
leading practitioner Ana Bagayan turns in strong, suitably creepy examples such as Bird's Brood
, which brings us slithery chicks with forked tongues hoping for a treat from mom, who's dressed in a nightgown and sitting in a river. It's a little scary and definitely surreal, like something dear John J. might've vomited up after a dark, stormy night spent with Edgar Allan Poe and a bottle of absinthe.
"Duck Soup" also features work by Michael Beck, Justin DeGarmo, and Joseph Daniel Fiedler.