Rainbow Coalition

If you were one of the many spectators taking in the wet T-shirt contests, pre-op transsexuals, margarita-and-corn-dog bars and discount musical entertainment that was the West Fest a couple of weeks ago, you might've noticed some cats passing out flyers for an upcoming art show. The boys of Aerosol Warfare have been going all out to promote their latest exhibition, simply titled "Brown." The five-hour show (which, ironically, will be held at the Orange Show) is a very ambitious and personal event for the local alternative-art crew.

"Every show that we've done so far has been monochromatic," says artist and Warfare director of operations Gonzo247. The primary-color art exhibits known as Respectrum (a.k.a. Respect the Spectrum) are meant to give the artists a challenge, and give graffiti painters legitimate places to show their work. Past exhibits "Red," "Green" and "Orange" were all done on the walls of willing art spaces.

Despite those noncriminal aims, the blues of the anti-gang task force raided the opening party for "Green" and "Blue." Officers lined artists and guests up against the wall; the people waiting outside (including a photographer and videographer hired to shoot the show) were barred from entering the party for over an hour. Unable to find the taggers responsible for illegal graffiti around town, the task force eventually left after giving one only citation, for underage drinking.

"Brown" should be another colorful evening, even if the Man doesn't crash the party. The latest Aerosol Warfare exhibit is different from the shows that came before. The group will be painting on canvas, for one thing. For another, the artists can use any colors they feel like. "It's gonna be monochromatic, but it's not gonna be the artwork," says Gonzo247. "The monochromatic is gonna be the skin tone of the artists -- all shades of brown are gonna come together to put the show together."

The multicultural show will be held on Día de los Muertos (Day of the Dead), and some of the work will use images common to this yearly tribute to the deceased. On paper this may sound a bit morose, but the Warfare veterans assure us that "Brown" will be a celebratory yet revealing showcase.

"Each artist is gonna basically open themselves up and expose themselves, because each piece is gonna be based upon some type of personal experience or relationship that they had," says DJ, artist and Warfare member Speed. "I can say for me, my pieces and the things that I'm gonna be working on are…emotions that I'm gonna be bringing across that I really haven't even dealt with myself yet."

According to the guys, artists ranging from graffiti taggers to ice sculptors to welders to puppet makers will be on hand to turn their life lessons into works of art. "I think this is gonna be an opportunity for a lot of artists to open themselves up to anything," says Warfare chief illustrator Color. With Aerosol Warfare, anything is one thing you can always expect.

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Craig D. Lindsey
Contact: Craig D. Lindsey