Arty Girl: Mi Casa Es Su Casa in Tempe

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Home is a concept that, much like other intricacies of our human existence, seems totally bizarre if you take the time to really mull it over.

Most people's homes are complicated boxes that lock up and shut out the rest of the world. Not only do we store our possessions here, but we use the arrangement of those posessions to somehow express who we think we are. We eat here, we sleep here, we take care of our bathroom business here and we do naughty things to our naked bodies here. And, at the end of a work day, there is nothing else we want more in the world than to return here.

And we hardly ever stop to think about it.

Well, now we can. And we've got a nice little art show in Tempe to help kick-start our thought processes.

You can see the show, "Mi Casa Es Su Casa" in the window of the Tempe Post Office on Mill Avenue. It features local artists Keith Stanton and Barbara Burton who visually explore the concept of home.

Stanton keeps popping up across the Valley with his clever photography. I've been watching him for a while and I always enjoy his pieces. He sets up miniature suburban scenes with models and toys then takes the photo with a macro lens. The image looks like it's in real scale but it only takes a second glance to realize the whole thing is fraudulent. With that kind of approach, it's tough to miss Stanton's commentary on our life's obsession with promoting an exaggerated social status.

Barbara Burton, on the other hand, has an intuitive and symbolic approach. She's a printmaker who works with nontoxic methods ranging from multi-color reduction block prints, monotypes and intaglio methods. Her dreamlike, sketchy images often feature storylines from the news and pieces of conversation. The images are a visual interpretation of our mind's home - the things we think about in every day life.

"Mi Casa Es Su Casa" runs until December 2nd in the window of the Tempe Post Office on 500 S. Mill Ave. Visit www.tempe.gov/arts.

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