Youth and death seem to go together like a peanut-butter cup of seeming opposites, a coupling our culture has given a veneer of glamour and sexiness. The mixed-media works of Travis Nikolai, like his “Pan-Galactic Reality Fragment” refrigerator from outer space at last year’s 35x35 show at the Art Barn, issue forth a sheer effluvia of visual stimuli. It’s no different with his “Hot Young Suicides,” aspiring for that intersection of celebrity and death alluded to in the title, as numerous rock stars including Kurt Cobain and Jimi Hendrix have died at the age of 27.
Discarding philosophy for art at the University of Utah, the recent graduate’s work still deeply ponders the subject matter. “Imagery of youth and death seen through a paranoid and unstable lens,” as he calls it, makes for a dynamic vision by one of the most dynamic emerging artists on the local scene.
Hot Young Suicides: Audition For the 27 Club @ Stolen & Escaped, 177 E. 300 South (downstairs), hours by appointment, through Nov. 12. StolenAndEscaped.wordpress.com