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Keep Houston Press Free
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Art Review: Wendy Wagner's Fantasy World

2008 Hunting Prize winner Wendy Wagner makes fantasy-world imagery from the childlike realm of puppy dogs and cartoons. In early 2008, she presented her animated short The Eternity of a Second in DiverseWorks' "Flicker Fusion" video exhibit. That video (and others), as well as framed still images from Eternity and sculpture based on its content, appears in this show alongside a series of recent mixed-media paintings depicting children and animals.

Sgt. Rock is a portrait of the artist's stepson posing with a Gatorade squirt bottle, binoculars hanging around his neck, wearing sunglasses with a large blue-glass bowl over his head like a helmet. It's as if he's prepared to hike the apple-green mountain range in the background.

Me-and-ma Brownie Bling is another humorous portrait. A little blonde girl in Brownie uniform smiles for her picture, revealing a gold front tooth. As in Sgt. Rock and Wagner's other child portraits on display, her subjects are surrounded by a rusticated comic-book-style border, adding a heightened mythical quality to the imagery.

Through June 9. Darke Gallery, 320 Detering, 713-542-3802.

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