The Legend City Studio doors opened on October 7 to a crowd eager to see work by more than 50 local artists in the twelfth installment of Chaos Theory.
The annual event is one of the largest art openings and art community events of the year that's organized by Legend City's resident artists, Randy Slack, Jason Grubb, John Balinkie
, and Brandon Sullivan
. Each year, they ask local artists to drop off a piece they've been working on, they hope that it's hang-ready, and they make a mad dash to get everything installed, usually within 24 hours.
The night was, indeed, chaotic. Hundreds streamed through the 10,000-square-foot studio, part looking at what was on the walls, part holding conversations with each other, and part scoping out the booze table. A few artists signed pieces with pseudonyms (we were told either in an attempt to "try something new" or to "just have fun"), and a few played pranks on the hosts by removing a pieces from the wall to see what was really on the back.
The show's not known for cohesion, as New Times' Kathleen Vanesian notes in her critique of the show
in this week's edition:
"The same funky formlessness that's become a predictable part of this annual art exhibition is still the controlling factor in "Chaos Theory XII" -- only I now appreciate why the term "chaos" is more than just theory in this show," Vanesian writes. "This egalitarian, slapdash approach explains the unevenness in the quality of work that ended up in "Chaos Theory XII." In fact, nothing's changed after all these years, except that I now have more wrinkles, and the decent work on display almost literally pops out from the rest."
A few artists agree (and a few have argued back in the comment section). Slack says you can stop by tonight in case you missed the first round of Chaos and want to compare notes.
Legend City Studios is at 521 W. Van Buren in Phoenix. The gallery will be open tonight from 6 to 10 p.m..