The Folklore of Red Coral Island

Tyson Grumm’s cast of well-read bulldogs, trampoline-jumping sheep, and beaked women alternately come off as charming and off-putting. Like The Far Side cartoonist Gary Larson before him, Grumm portrays animals in situations ordinarily reserved for people. But his humor is less pervasive and the creatures more realistic—an intentional decision on Grumm’s part. “Animals being more than they should be can be comical, but there’s also something very twisted and macabre to it,” he explains over the phone from his Seahurst, Oregon, home. “The Folklore of Red Coral Island” (through June 3) is a Lord of the Flies–esque series of acrylic paintings featuring animals grappling with power and personal conflict on a deserted island. They’re bizarre and unsettling (making the artist seem “absolutely nuts,” he says), like nothing you’d expect to see in the funny pages. Patricia Rovzar Gallery, 1225 Second Ave., 223-0273, Free. 11 a.m.–5 p.m. ERIKA HOBART

May 28-June 3, 11 a.m., 2008

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