'Tony Fitzpatrick: No. 9, An Artist's Journal'

What holy file-drawer labels might look like in the main warehouse of a God of Memory

Arts Review

'Tony Fitzpatrick: No. 9, An Artist's Journal'

Slugfest Gallery

Through Dec. 14

You've seen prints and you've seen collages, and maybe you've even seen both in a single creation at the same time, but you've never seen them quite the way Tony Fitzpatrick renders them – on notebook-sized paper, with a stunning arrangement of symbolic images building complexity into his highly effective choices of balance and color.

This is "No. 9, An Artist's Journal," a long-running series of original illustrations conjuring and conjured by the artist's daily musings and his travels around the world. Tokyo, Chicago, New Orleans: These cities and others provide the inspirations for (and sometimes subtly influence the style of) his spectacular creations.

Difficult for works of approximately 8 inches by 10 inches each to be anywhere near "spectacular," you might think, and you'd be right. Which is why we highly recommend this inaugural exhibition at the newly reopened Slugfest Gallery: This art is spectacular in its meticulous arrangements of images – birds, women, snakes, flowers, cityscapes – and the borrowed texts adhered. The works feature a central figure surrounded by smaller figures and sharp typography, the whole thing as busy as a galaxy of information without being cluttered, offering an idea of what holy file-drawer labels might look like in the main warehouse (carved from pure crystal, illuminated by some energy within) of some God of Memory. (Or maybe some smoking God of Memory – the better to explain the antique matchbook covers adorning the corners of these vibrant works.)

Gods, of course, reside in heaven; and we're suggesting that, with this Fitzpatrick show on its walls, Slugfest Gallery is currently, graphically, one of the earthbound neighborhoods of that realm.

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