Animalistic at Anaba » Urban Milwaukee
Ryan Findley

Animalistic at Anaba

By - Jun 2nd, 2010 04:00 am
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“The Hope Lion” by Matt Cipov

Sometimes, we come across art in unexpected places. This is true both of the installation currently on view at the Anaba Tea Room and the subject matter of the show.

Amid the plants growing throughout and the abundance of natural light seeping through the open ceiling are nestled tables, chairs, couches and tea cups. And in this atmosphere of nature and civilization juxtaposed is Animalistic, a show of works by Chad Edwards and Matt Cipov.

Cipov’s prints are numerous and linked by their common construction. Looking like a combination of old-fashioned seed packets and international stamps, Cipov has created an entire series of animals. These animals lurk “in the deep” (the subtitle for each and every piece) and while some are quite menacing, others are not creatures that you expect to find at either depth or lurking.

A chipmunk, for example, is not usually thought of as threatening, and yet there is this cute furry creature alongside wolves and menacing fish with row upon row of teeth. Suddenly, the chipmunk is slightly more intimidating. This is the absurdity of Cipov’s work, but it works.

Edwards, on the other hand, has taken a more playful approach to his subjects. In a multimedia series consisting of pencil and watercolor sketches and photo-manipulation, Edwards places wild animals in absurd positions as they try to manage the detritus of human life. A bear struggles to open a container, another animal ponders a handgun. There is also the whimsy of absurdity here, but it is a different kind, one that makes you wince with

Work by Chad Edwards

embarrassment as you realize that these animals are trying to use our tools and give up their natural ones, something we’ve already decided to do.

Animalistic will be on view in the Anaba Tea Room until June 27. The Tea Room is open Tuesday through Friday from 11 a.m. until 5 p.m., and Saturdays and Sundays from 11 a.m. until 3 p.m..

Categories: Art

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