Blogger Philip Berger commented on artist Paul Nudd's paintings recently, remarking that they “convey the grisly scatology of the body and its parts, and, according to the estimable James Yood, feature ‘a surfeit of detailed ooze that is every bit as funny as it is grotesque.'” I thank both Berger and Yood, an art critic in Chicago, for putting into words what I couldn't to describe GUNSHO's (aka James Quigley) new works at Double Break Gallery (1821 Fifth Ave. in Bankers Hill).
Yes, there are plenty of peeing, wrinkly, petulant, eyeball-sprouting characters to be found in GUNSHO's one-man show, Horror Days. Imagine underground comix (the genre) of the late 1960s copulating with Grindhouse (the film). But this isn't some 13-year-old's prepubescent fantasy. Instead, you'll discover a mature body of work by an artist whose deft technique in both drawing and screen-printing is matched by his poignant personal imagery depicting the exorcising of one's own demons, which colors the walls of Double Break through Nov. 6. In short, the show is stunning.
The main thrust of Quigley's exhibit is an ongoing series of 24 (to date) demons reinterpreted and inspired by Aleister Crowley's The Book of the Goetia of Solomon the King, which contained descriptions for the evocation of 72 demons Solomon was said to have conjured up. Quigley's beautiful, five-color screen prints bring these unscrupulous characters to life— like Aim, the Great Duke of Hell, who rules over 26 legions of demons, sets cities and castles on fire and also has the power to “make men witty in all ways.”
Solomon may have called upon these demons for their redeeming (albeit misunderstood) qualities, helping him to accomplish feats a mere king could not. Artists are like this, too. They, like the demon known as Bathin, can take us to wherever we want to go or, like Leraje, cause great battles and disputes. Quigley takes us to where we need to be—entirely satisfied.