In the Spotlight: Kai Mao, Superior Animals at Metro Gallery
Sometimes, a thing is just so mind-blowing you need a double-dose. That’s the case I’d make for Metro Gallery’s continuing show for the month of February, “Superior Animals,” a robust and inspiring collection of surreal anthropomorphic sculptures and paintings by artist Kai Mao. Blending the earthy, serene and spiritual elements of man and beast, Mao introduces us to rabbits, roosters, monkeys, and more in postures that, while unfamiliar in their animal kingdom, transpose with elegance into our human realm. Evoking poignant reflections on the very nature of our divisions and affinity, Mao’s creations offer a unique bridge between these two worlds and an innate sense of hope Likewise, Mao’s hypnotic paintings, most of which feature humanity center stage, float us into ethereal realms where inner cores manifest into outer dreams. Subtle and sedate, these portraits of porcelain women with elongated necks (and a few forest creatures sporting the latest fashion) ask us to read below beauty’s surface to witness desire and doubt manifest.
New shows this month come from the School of Arts and Enterprise (SAE) with their “High School Digital and Visual Spring Show,” featuring a variety of art styles and themes from students that have been developed in class and in their personal time.
Local talents take over Progress Gallery this month, photographer Jill Carol’s “That’s So Second Street” in the East Gallery that offers up a veritable Pomona family album through snaps of local events and peeps over the last few years that chronicle the diversity and artistry of the downtown scene, and in the West Gallery, local painter and award-winning Native American musician Steve Rushingwind Ruis puts on display an array of his still life paintings that celebrate the very act of living.
The Latino Art Museum presents three new colorful shows: “Mapa del Arte de Mexico,” a group show of 37 artists hailing from our southern neighbor; “Mardi Gras in Pomona,” featuring work from Rigo Rivas, Mariana Montes, Juan Carlos Boxler, Mati Russo, and Cherie Redlinger; and a solo exhibition “Brushstrokes” from Argentine painter Claudia Cogo.
Also on deck this month, the dA Center for the Arts presents its annual “Simply Red” group show extravaganza.