Nathan Feller's altar at five15 Gallery
Nathan Feller's altar at five15 Gallery

Full House

Do you think you're a good person? When's the last time you took stock? It might be time to do just that — and make sure you give yourself more than five minutes, because it may take a while.

Nathan Feller's art is not the typical imagery one would associate with self-reflection. There are no sunsets, grassy fields or crashing shorelines. But there is a bunny with circular-saw blades for feet. Feller creates wickedly smart works that challenge viewers to find connective threads among his bizarre imagery, and cleverly manages to provide a glimpse into his notions of morality, habit and self-vigilance.

He arranges the show to resemble a church setting, an atmosphere of quiet reflection. The environment provides coherence and acts as a reminder that the works are to be read under the same conceptual blanket — a patchwork quilt made from scraps of life lessons, habits, mistakes and experience.


Nathan Feller's "House of Man"

five15 Gallery, 515 East Roosevelt Street

Continues through October 27, with an artist's reception on Friday, October 20, from 6 to 9 p.m. Call 602-256-0150 or visit web link.

Behind an altar sits a priest's shirt with a drawing of a pulled tooth printed on the center of the collar. The rooted molars are recurring images throughout the show and act as a warning: Negligence can result in the loss of irreplaceable things.

In the cleverly titled print Friend or Foe, a severed heart lies cold on a medical tray. Feller questions our collective trust of this internal organ to provide moral direction. I immediately adopted Feller's doubts about following one's heart — making this 5-by-7-inch work intensely personal.

The compelling visuals, with their wretched humor and mysterious depth, result in a successfully challenging show. This is art you need to work for — and it's worth it.


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