Mixed Messages

Ever since she opened reZurrection Gallery with her husband Damian in December 2000, Darci Johnson has been hosting monthly openings for the artists who exhibit their work there. To keep things unpredictable, she alternates the media in the shows, bringing in sculptures one month, paintings the next, and then perhaps photography or fashion designs. This month, Johnson had no worries about the uniqueness of her featured artist for August — downtown art scene veteran Jeff Falk.

In the new show "Crucifictions," Falk's mixed-media pieces defy easy definition. "I've been looking forward to this for a long time," Johnson says. "With Jeff Falk, you never know what to expect."

Falk creates both two-dimensional collages and three-dimensional assemblages using found objects, paint, paper and metal. For "Crucifictions," the work refers both to the storytelling nature of each piece and the trials and tribulations described in those stories. "My three-dimensional pieces are like little shrines to me," says Falk in his artist statement. "Each, in its own way, is my attempt to capture a moment in time or the essence of a memory or a place or a dream."

Extending "mixed media" beyond visual arts, Falk's love of narrative is also evident in his spoken-word and performance art — which almost always involves masks, costumes and an assortment of strange props. Johnson says Falk is constantly "balancing the normal with the absurd."

If hard-to-explain art and weird performance sounds suspiciously fun, then just give in to your intuitions. "When people think art opening, they think stuffy," says Johnson. "But this is just a big party at our place."