Visual Arts

"Converging Trajectories" Gets Connected

Ted Decker curated a show. It's called "Converging Trajectories" and it's all about you...and him...and 41 artists.

You're going to see a little bit of everything here -- video installation, photography, sculpture, painting, name it, it's at Modified Arts. but don't bother looking for a connective thread between these visuals because that's not what this show is about.

Instead, it's about an invisible connection. Decker discovered these 41 artists through his travels and research.  Many live in cities throughout the U.S. and there's a healthy handful of artists from Brazil.

So Decker brings the art to Phoenix and displays it in Modified Arts. You visit the show and after your visit, you're forever connected to Decker who connected you to these artists. Who knows, you may even find a piece that you like, look up the artist on the internet, become their friend on facebook, and make more connections from there. Heck, it could inspire you to travel to Brazil.

And it all would originate from the interconnectedness that happened at the aptly titled "Converging Trajectories: Crossing Borders, Building Bridges" exhibition.

It's like a big, giant game of "six degrees of Ted Decker."

And, lucky for us, Decker accomplishes this concept through some pretty swell art.

As mentioned, you'll find everything here. Decker displays work of varying maturity levels -- some artists are experienced and some are still in their teens.

One work, by Robert Brandan Martinez, digitally blends two shots in a style the artist learned from ASU instructor, Mark Klett. His work shows the run-down Rocinha Community in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, in which dwellings are impossibly stacked on top of one another in a maze of shoddy stair cases and alleys. It's a small photo that would have benefitted from a larger-print format but works -- mostly because of its mesmerizing subject matter.

Another successful piece, "Supersitions" by Rodriogo Torres is a photo collage that reads like topographic map. The artist manipulated an image of Arizona's Supersitions mountains with a mountain range in Brazil. The aerial photographs have been cut into graduated layers that, when aligned, jut out from the work's surface to create three-dimensional mountainous shapes.

In this work, Torres forever connects our two lands.

One connection you may not want to make is with Chico Fernandes. His video installation shows a man watching television. His back is to the viewer and his pants are loose. As you see the lurching of his back muscles you realize the guy is jerking off. Then you look at what he's watching. It's you, courtesy of a small camera feeding your live image. As vulgar as it is, it's also pretty hilarious. And it fits well with the theme -- that's a connection you'll never forget.

There's so much more to talk about in this show. The botanical drawing by Sergio Allevato made from Bugs Bunny body parts was incredible. The quirky beaded chicken figurines by local Christy Puetz showed off her signature whimsical style. The crocheted wall sculpture by Carolina Ponte was beautiful. And that's hardly scratching the surface.

The show's run has been extended until October 9, and with so many pieces to consider, we'll all need the extra time.

But don't fret -- it's time well spent.

To see more images from "Converging Trajectories: Crossing Borders, Building Bridges" click here. For location and gallery details, click here.