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Pop Culture Shock

Listing your childhood icons instantly gives away your age. Not convinced? Say Mr. T or Care Bears, and your glory days were the ’80s. Name Buzz Lightyear or Tickle Me Elmo, and you’re a child of the ’90s. Twilight or Hannah Montana? Jailbait.

Local artist Glen Allen hails from the days of Magnum, P.I. and New Wave music, and his colorful Pop Art paintings are clearly inspired by the likes of Colorforms and ’80s sticker collections. “Where Warhol and Lichtenstein tended to sanitize pop culture, I strive to retain certain elements of the vernacular and crude aspects of Pop,” says Allen. Translation? Among the Stormtroopers and Charlie Browns, you can expect dark, tongue-in-cheek, and occasionally bloody visual commentary on popular culture. So how are ’80s lovers supposed to feel when confronted with their beloved cartoon pals being butchered? “The goal is psychological discomfort, which I attribute to the tension between the horrible and the humorous,” he quips. We can only pray Barney will be Allen’s next victim.

Fri., Jan. 16, 6-10 p.m., 2009


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