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King of Pain

Dolan Smith's "Scar Show" catalogs a life of comic misfortune and tragedy

Looking at the work, you feel a need to concentrate on the comic aspects, and not on the stuff that makes you squirm. With a couple of the pieces, your gut reaction is "Oh, don't tell people that!" But should he make things easy for us? He could neatly edit it all into a black-humor extravaganza in the way comedians with tortured pasts make things entertaining, with only a modicum of discomfort, for audiences. The unedited matter, however, challenges and provokes the viewer. Writers often explore difficult personal stories, yet when something is presented on a gallery wall, instead of between the discreet covers of a book, we somehow react to it differently. It seems more vulnerable.

Reading between the (scar) lines: Dolan Smith details his every wound with humor and humanity.
Aurora Picture Show
Reading between the (scar) lines: Dolan Smith details his every wound with humor and humanity.

Details

On view by appointment through Thursday, September 7
(713)868-2101
Aurora Picture Show, 800 Aurora Street

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In the end, Smith's work is not just about the absurdity, comedy and tragedy of his life, but that life is absurd, comic and tragic. Who can't relate to that?

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