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Eric Vozzola’s ‘Real Life’ challenges the idea of ideals

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“Sold My Soul to Corporate America,” part of Eric Vozzola’s Fifth Wall Gallery exhibit *Based on Real Life.

With the title “Sold My Soul to Corporate America,” you can sort of see where Las Vegas artist Eric Vozzola is going with his mixed-media piece at Fifth Wall Gallery. But rather than kitsching, celebrating or attacking an American ideal of conformism, he somehow makes it a personal experience, one that gives as much weight to the heartwarming and foreboding as to the familiar and unearthly.

Duality is his thing in subject matter and aesthetics. As with other works in his solo exhibit *Based on Real Life, there is a certain level of ambiguity in “Sold,” where Vozzola has painted in enamel a flat yellow (as an almost suffocating sky) onto a found image of a social gathering in a suburban backyard. There’s significant order to the matching houses and young trees, and perfection in the people, but a looming sense on the horizon.

In this exhibit, the artist, who is also a graphic designer, places together the natural with the graphic and colorful, altering found objects and random images to create a new story. In dealing with the macro/micro of the world, the strange banality and “nonsense” of everyday household items and the excitement of nature, Vozzolo challenges our ideas of ideals in an amusing and visually stunning way.

*Based on Real Life Through February 7; daily, 11 a.m.-7 p.m. Emergency Arts, 592-1467.

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