The Fourth Party 

click to enlarge art27_artshort_candidate_100.jpg

In the interests of patriotism this week, in the interests of finding a leader who truly represents the people (assuming people are best represented by a crazy giant bug), artist James Williams presents "Sweet Smell of Power" at the Visual Art Studio. Williams' works are grotesques of human nature — an almost familiar face made monstrous and animalistic, yet strangely softened by his use of bright pastels. This series considers politics and the people vying for election. There's an elephant-faced "Judge of Others," (top) an insectile "Candidate #2" (bottom) and, riffing on Williams' recurring cat characters, a feline "Winning Candidate."

Are these stem-cell abominations any less fair and balanced than the political realm these days, a place where conservative commentator Ann Coulter can call presidential candidate John Edwards a "faggot," and he can use that taunt to spin campaign contributions? At least Williams' beasties don't hide their monstrosity. The artist will be on hand to talk about his work at the First Fridays reception July 6 at 6:30 p.m. 644-1368. S

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