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Sergio Vega's "Tropical Rush" at Open Satellite.

To create the central piece in Sergio Vega's exhibit "Tropical Rush," the artist enlisted a team of helpers using X-Acto knives to create a forest of stenciled trees, stretching from floor to ultra-tall ceiling. They're overgrown with flat, wide leaves, obscuring the light from the street-side bank of windows. Vega, whose work has been seen at a slew of biennales around the world, continues his exploration into the theme Paradise in the New World, after reading a book of that name written in 1650 by Spanish historian Antonio de Leon Pinelo. Located in a gleaming high-rise, Vega's false forest sits just blocks away from Bellevue's malls and its rush of highways. The near-black silhouette conjures fairy tales, the fear of getting lost in the forest, Dante's Inferno—which begins in a dark wood—and the fact that there's no primordial forest to get lost in in Bellevue anymore. It's a meditative spot, but an ominous one. Crafted from ashy, roughhewn automobile carpet, Vega's piece is no subtle reminder of the why of the felled trees. Open Satellite, 989 112th Ave. N.E., Suite 102, Bellevue, 425-454-7355, www.opensatellite.org. Ends July 7.

 
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