Big-Box Eden 

Main Art Gallery's current show is all mass-produced mythology.

click to enlarge art17_art_nicoleandreoni_100.jpg

Nicole Andreoni's show of paintings and prints at Main Art Gallery, "The Garden," calls to mind religious icons, Victorian portraiture, naïve folk art and even vintage media illustrations of romance-novel covers and feminine hygiene ads. The work isn't ironic, despite its flowery motifs and glitter, but rather a sincere attempt to filter through the confusing array of cultural archetypes available today.

Andreoni's almost naked Adam and Eve are covered not with leaves, but with mass-produced striped boxers and underwire bras. The would-be soul mates stare frankly out at the viewer, uncomfortably performing a private pageant in the public eye. The work has an incomplete quality, like an unfinished thought or a shaky personal myth still in the making. This sense of a nascent private mythology is reinforced both by the youthfulness of the sitters and by titles that include "boy" and "girl" rather than "man" or "woman." These are ordinary people with normal bodies, trying to locate themselves within a long line of idealized romantic, heroic and sacred traditions. The show runs through April 30. 355-6151. S

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