The “Yo Gabba Gabba!” of local art

“Almost Homeless” mixes bright colors, animals and the occasional upchuck

PHOTO COURTESY BURLESQUE GRAPHIC ARTISTS

Ashley Goetz

PHOTO COURTESY BURLESQUE GRAPHIC ARTISTS

âÄúAlmost HomelessâÄù ARTISTS: Isaac Arvold, Eric Inkala, John Grider, Keiko Yagishita WHERE: First Amendment Gallery, 1101 Stinson Blvd. N.E. WHEN: March 28 âÄî April 21 PRICE: Free âÄúAlmost Homeless,âÄù a new exhibition in the First Amendment Gallery, is like a hallucinogenic Lisa Frank folder plus Pikachu , minus the kawaii factor. The show spotlights collaborative work of local Burlesque graphic artists Isaac Arvold, Eric Inkala, John Grider and Keiko Yagishita. Though the title may sound pessimistic, âÄúAlmost HomelessâÄù is actually a play-off of their July 2007 exhibition âÄúAlmost Famous.âÄù The show features a medley of lacquered pop art and screen printing that could play the part of an anime ponyâÄôs LSD trip. The four young artists are all tied to and inspired by the local scene. Arvold took up art after his teaching job fell through, and Inkala travels with Minneapolis-based Rhymesayers Entertainment as the resident merchandise manager. Japanese immigrant Yagishita graduated from Minneapolis College of Art and Design. The eerie atmosphere of First Amendment Gallery, which is tucked in a basement under a discreet framing company, down a hallway reminiscent of a beginning âÄúResident EvilâÄù level, contributes to the already eye-searing exhibit. Against the galleryâÄôs tearing linoleum flooring and juxtaposed with the chaos of the exposed creation room, a whirlwind of Technicolor is given by a crisp portrait of an orange pig vomiting out a stream of color. âÄúAlmost HomelessâÄù features work like âÄúThe Day Hell Froze Over,âÄù a blue-hued man bathing in a deluge of beer heralded by a mass of equally blue penguins looking less than regal. On the wall opposite hangs the aptly named âÄúHigh Riding, Donut EatinâÄô, Frosting Puking Fun,âÄù an enormous grey unicorn waltzing in a swirl of its own bubble-gum barf. WhatâÄôs more, it is being ridden by a naked mole rat/koala bear warrior munching on a tiny sprinkled donut. Local DJ Plain OleâÄô Bill welcomed the exhibition on a raised black carpet platform amidst vintage turntables, while area hipsters showed up to the exhibition with their hoods up and beards flowing. âÄúAlmost HomelessâÄù is a psychedelic journey into the twisted, tattooed minds of the four local graphic artists, but should be visited in stone-cold sobriety. The show has enough consciousness-expanding neon swirls on its own.