Growing toys for growing boys at Bambi

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Terrence LaRagione
Terrence LaRagione, Ruminations, oil on panel

Some of the toys in Terrence LaRagione’s paintings in “Some Assembly Required” at Bambi have gone retroactive and nearly radioactive. This latest outing by LaRagione takes on the charm of old-fashioned comics, thereby transforming the hyperlit toys into something slightly sinister against dark, oily, old masters backdrops. Think early Disney meets Rembrandt here.

Terrence LaRagione, Have No Fear, oil on panel
Terrence LaRagione, Have No Fear, oil on panel

Yet the work is not too scary to put in a kid’s room. It’s almost like LaRagione has captured the creepiness of the Teddy Bear’s Picnic, without losing the hug factor.

Terrence LaRagione
Terrence LaRagione, Kraziness, oil on panel

One of the things LaRagione has done right this time is move his images from larger canvas to smaller panels, making the art less precious, less academic. That’s appropriate. I also thought these works looked especially good because Bambi is a gallery that shamelessly mixes high and low art vibes (see Roberta’s post on Highlow). And Highlow is where these pieces fit–quite nicely, thank you.

Derek Myers
Derek Myers, Ascension

Also at Bambi, “Pure as the Driven Snow,” a group of small assemblage boxes by Derek Myers, with a wicked sense of humor and a sense that the Christian devil is alive and flourishing. I didn’t quite get these little boxes, filled with cards, electrical equipment and other miscellany, but my old college friend Gail thought they were a riot.

Both shows are up until Sept. 16.

Tags

bambi, derek myers, philadelphia art, terrence laragione

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