Velvet Dreams, Mark Mothersbaugh


The velvet painting. Never has a genre of American art so enraptured every demographic: the mod hipster, the elderly Tom Jones fan, the truck driver, the debt-laden freelance arts critic. You may be curious to learn (I was), that the style was invented by an 18th century Brit named Francis Town. Yet it was the lusty Edgar Leeteg, a true, red-blooded American who painted over a thousand pictures of scantily-clad Tahitian dames, who gave the form its apotheosis. On August 15, the eve of Elvis' death anniversary, this black velvet art invitational will open, featuring Leeteg's leering work, as well as variations in velour by local artists Charles Krafft (whose self-portrait homage to Leeteg is above), Tim Silbaugh, Art Chantry, Randy McCoy, and many others. A short documentary will be screened, featuring an interview with curator Larry Reid, the Gun Street Girls will dish up burlesque, and Lushy will supply soothing Polynesian sounds. Reception: 9 p.m. Fri. Aug. 15. Lava Lounge, 2226 2nd Ave., 206-441-5660. 2 p.m.-6 p.m. Tues.-Sat., noon-4 p.m. Sun. ANDREW ENGELSON


His music has always had a childlike quality. When he was fronting DEVO twenty-five years ago, there were all those simple hooks and melodies. His soundtracks for Bottlerocket, Rushmore, and The Royal Tenenbaums took sing-along tunes and gave them an edge. And, of course, there's all the Rugrats stuff. Over the years Mothersbaugh has also created tens of thousands of handmade postcards and mailed them to friends. For "Homefront Invasion," he's made limited edition prints of these strangely childlike, adolescent cards. Neither naïve nor sentimental, it's the kind of childishness that asks awkward, probing questions: How do they kill chickens? Why is that man lying on the sidewalk? Can I have a gun when I grow up? Is Jesus dead? In these photo collages, ink stamps, and sketches, you'll find bad smells, gunplay, Jesus panties, freakshow children and all sorts of weirdness that adults are afraid to see. What's most admirable about the show are the low prices: With all those royalties still rolling in from "Whip It," Mothersbaugh evidently can afford to bring his sideshow to the masses. Reception: 6 p.m.-10 p.m. Fri. Aug. 15. Roq la Rue, 2316 2nd Ave., 206-374-8977. 2 p.m.-6 p.m. Tues.-Sat., noon-4 p.m. Sun. ANDREW ENGELSON

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