Visual Arts

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.

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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Lilia Menconi
Contact: Lilia Menconi