South by Midwest

We’re all for hybrid cars and green cleaners, but if we have to look at one more painting exploring the dangers of deforestation, we’re gonna blow chunks. What’s next -- artists go PETA on our asses, hurling red tree sap at anyone not using recycled paper?

At first glance, Marcus Payzant’s depictions of urban rubble and cut trees raise the hippie-wacko flag. But he urges viewers to dig deeper. “I’m concerned about the environment. I recycle,” he says. “But not all of my paintings have to do with global warming.”

The Midwest transplant hasn’t been in Arizona long, which explains his fondness for painting cloudy azure skies and towering pines. So are we going to start seeing cactuses and light-rail tracks in his future works? Maybe at some point, says Payzant: “My brain takes a while to process where I am.”

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Wynter Holden
Contact: Wynter Holden