Every year someone hugs a cactus for all the wrong reasons. A Tucson man last year was “hugged” to death by a falling saguaro, and a cyclist was observed dutifully removing spines from his rear after a missed corner landed him in prickly hell. But there’s another kind of “Cactus Hug” in Phoenix and it comes in the form of New Mexicans Larry Bob Phillips and David Leigh’s collaborative art installation.
A giant, sprawling piece of comic drawings and sculpture, this oversize work becomes “a space of cartoon horror” full of “bizarre landscapes of birds, death, undersea creatures, cacti, Cadillacs, frying pans and more,” according to a press release. Unwieldy and grotesque images aim to shock and awe audiences, though wry smiles are more likely. “Cactus Hug” is open from 6 to 11 p.m. Friday, May 16, at Frontal Lobe Gallery in Bragg’s Pie Factory, 1301 Grand Avenue. Admission is free. Call 602-391-4016 for more information.