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Journeys 

At the Dead Horse Gallery

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Have you ever caught cuddly Rover noshing on kitty poo? Ever fought off the blues by visualizing your own death? Ever been torn between two opposing cultures? The three women whose work is featured in Journeys use color-drenched paintings and mixed-media works to process life's vicissitudes, from the trivial to the profound. Influenced by comics and punk culture, California artist Sally Mizuno Elliott celebrates everyday weirdness. In her handmade book "What Millhouse Ate," she transforms cardboard into pages; torn paper, masking tape, and paint become the quirky illustrations of her dog's bizarre food choices. Elliott's reminiscences of her 1980s adolescence led her to "How to Make Big Hair," a series of four white-ink drawings on child-sized chalkboards that reads like a comic strip. Cleveland-native Sally Reydman created her humorously macabre series "How I Died" (pictured) during a run-in with despair. The 25 drawings employ bright yellows, oranges, and pinks in depictions of fantasy death scenarios, including death by electrocution, improper tampon insertion, and leeches. Lahib Jaddo, an Iraqi native who moved to the U.S. in her early 20s, paints large, hyperrealistic works of beautiful Arab women in surreal landscapes. In these dreamlike works, awash in vibrant colors and Arab-influenced patterns, Jaddo searches for her identity as a Middle Eastern woman in a Western culture. Once again, Dead Horse Gallery presents a show that's both engaging and accessible.

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More by Eleanor LeBeau

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