Short Walls Gallery will host Upside-down Christians, 50 drawings of notable Christian preachers, healers, performers and televangelists by Rick Baker at 380 Main St., Beacon, from July 11 through Aug. 24. The opening party will be held from 6 to 8 p.m. Saturday, July 13.
What began as a simple drawing exercise — where the subject is turned upside down and rendered in order to shake loose how the brain perceives the image — has resulted in strange humanoid figures with slightly distorted faces, eyes in the wrong place, impossible hair and disturbing fingers.This series explores the personae of people like Aimee Semple McPherson, founder of the International Church of the Foursquare Gospel, and more widely recognized figures like Jerry Falwell, Jimmy Swaggert and Tammy-Faye Bakker. Each piece highlights the perhaps dangerous power of their charisma, their sometimes tragic contradictions and their remarkable hair, while conveying an almost mythological existence.
Baker received his bachelor’s degree in religion, dreamed of becoming a Buddhist scholar and worked in the Catholic church before making a career in the arts. He has exhibited at LACE in Los Angeles, MakeSpace Arts in Pasadena and Crazy Space in Santa Monica.
Short Walls Gallery, located inside Tastes Like Chicken Skateboard Shop, exhibits street, graffiti and counterculture art with an emphasis on selecting artists whose work shows an expertise in craftsmanship and visually vibrant narratives.