Julia McLain's "Peace and War" at Mercantile Coffee House

Julia McLain, "Peace and War," 2007
Julia McLain, "Peace and War," 2007
McKinney Avenue Contemporary

A sheep and a dragon. A devil and an angel. A tiny icon of sweet dreams. These are the pieces Julia McLain blocks together in a way reminiscent of those puzzles where you slide the pieces around until the picture is whole. Only in "Peace and War," the lack of open space means there's no room to move. Thus, McLain's vision of opposites -- innocence and danger, good and bad -- is complete. In the scrambling, McLain demystifies and disempowers those those things that once scared her.

She calls this movement cutism, but between the bright colors and the scary images, cute is the last thing this piece calls to mind. Despite its cartoonish appearance, there's nothing childish about the iconography or McLain's handling of it in "Peace and War."

See "Peace and War" at Mercantile Coffee House as part of its partnership with MAC (McKinney Avenue Contemporary). The two have teamed up to support local artists and McLain's work will be shown through September 10th. Visit www.the-mac.org.

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