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Head Master

When we say Russian artist Sergei Isupov has a big head, we mean it literally. No, his noggin’s perfectly normal, and he’s not arrogant. Isupov sculpts large-scale ceramic heads covered with hand-drawn scenes, several dozen of which are currently on display in the “Androgyny: New Work by Sergei Isupov” exhibit at Mesa Contemporary Arts.

In Greek mythology, the snake-covered head of Medusa was used as a weapon to turn enemies to stone. The massive Easter Island heads were worshipped as ancestor gods. Isupov’s hand-sculpted domes aren’t quite as mythic, but the exotic creatures he draws on each work paint interesting self-portraits. MCA curator Patty Haberman describes his animal drawings as “strangely grotesque, frequently half-beast, half-human, but at the same time vulnerable and captivating, perfectly sculpted down to the smallest details of tiny hands and fingers or curving tails.” We wonder what Freud would say about Isupov’s weird imagery and massive craniums. Then again, sometimes a big head is just a big head.

Tuesdays-Sundays. Starts: April 10. Continues through Aug. 2, 2009

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