Beauty in the Dark

Perihelion Arts in downtown Phoenix is a little dark this month.

Step into the "Pain Killers" show by Japanese-born, Tempe resident Yuko Yabuki, and you'll see paintings and drawings depicting dying men and women, spooky bats, and a severed head against a spider-web background. However disturbing the images, there's no denying their beauty, and the Japanese artist, in contrast, is quite cheerful with her morose works. "I try to paint something dark as beautiful as I can," Yabuki says. "I see both darkness and brightness, and I don't want to fake what I see. The factors are always necessary to each other."

Yabuki – who draws inspiration from fashion, music, and her love of tattoos (she has 10 of them) – illustrates her belief in beauty by including some lighter pieces in the collection, which contains nearly 20 works. "You cannot see this kind of art in Phoenix," Yabuki says. "It will change [viewers'] recognition of the world."

Hey, that’s what real-life painkillers do, too.

Wednesdays-Saturdays; Wednesdays-Saturdays. Starts: June 5. Continues through June 26, 2010


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