Hallucinogenic ogres and anatomical machinery

Quite often, the word “science” brings to mind beakers, Bunsen burners and those hideous plastic safety goggles. Try to forget the forceps and focus on the science of the everyday world, as the art exhibit Science Friction seems to beg at the Dorsch Gallery. A joint effort, Science Friction features the collaboration of artists Dave Colosi, Christian Duran, Vickie Pierre and Christopher Skura. It’s a strange and dissimilar display, seemingly disjointed, but ultimately the odd themes combine to offer a synthesizing impression.

Pierre’s works are fanciful creations of vivid colors, offset with contrasting detail. Many of her paintings are small, measuring a square foot or less. The vibrant colors immediately stand out amidst scattered phrases in tiny rounded cursive, a motif of multicolored droplets, and even a hint of romantic influence. “The Dream I Never Knew” is a stunning palette of a fiery red-orange background laced with rivulets of bright blue.

Skura’s work weaves geometric themes within the small, precise drawings of boxes and angular shapes. Ubiquitous graph-paper-like backgrounds add a touch of mathematical atmosphere to the meticulous detail. “Virus” is Skura’s most striking work, a vibrant meddle of neat box-like shapes, highlighted in lime green with accents of red and gold. “Art Machine” takes a different direction with black pencil shading, featuring an elaborate contraption presumably for harnessing creative power and transforming into something more tangible. Touching on an anatomical theme, “12-01 (Jarvik)” showcases an elaborate drawing of a heart, with a kidney flung in for random flavor.

A more whimsical approach can be found in Colosi’s hallucinogenic pencil monster drawings, featuring grinning monsters and bizarre dream scenes. Highlights include an untitled work that shows an eerie depiction of a jack-in-the-box. Colosi stays within the simple medium of pencil on paper, spotlighting his impressive attention to shading and outlining.

Duran’s work waxes neurological, showcasing homemade brain diagrams created with carefully printed ink stains. “Cold Brains #2” presents a set of Rorschach blotches, some decorated with tiny photos of arms or legs, presumably illustrations of how the brain processes different actions and emotions. “I (c) U” is a simple, yet inscrutable three-paneled set of more ink splotches.

The culmination of the exhibit is “The Return of le Cadavre Exquis,” a collaborative mixed media effort. Each artist contributed to the work, unaware of what the others had done or planned to do. The end result takes the form of a woman shedding rainbow-colored tears.

With scientific, mathematical, and technological overtones, Science Friction offers a keenly diverse collection of different artists and unique styles, with a gloss of otherworldly appeal.

Science Friction runs through Nov. 23rd at the Dorsch Gallery, 151 NW 24th St., Miami. For more information, call 305-576-1278.

Jessica Misener can be reached at

November 1, 2002


The Miami Hurricane

Student newspaper at the University of Miami

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