In what is sure to put Vegas on the map as the city that brings the love to alternative comic book artists, this week everyone who walks or drives the streets of Las Vegas Boulevard and Fremont Street will see fifty huge banners featuring the art of Ivan Brunetti presenting, Thirst: Aerial Gallery. Brunetti will be giving a lecture at UNLV at the Alta Ham Fine Arts Building Room 357 Wednesday, February 27th at 5:30pm. The project dedication, officiated by Mayor Goodman, will be held Thursday, February 28th at 4pm on Las Vegas Blvd and Fremont Street. An artist reception will follow the dedication from 4:30-7:30pm at the Downtown Cocktail Room (111 Las Vegas Blvd. South). All of these events are free so if anyone reading this is able to go (and bring friends!), I'd highly recommend doing so because this is a really big deal and support of this will make people take notice that Vegas is serious about art. The theme of the Thirst art banners is how water and or the need to drink interconnects everything.
For those unfamiliar with Ivan Brunetti as a cartoonist, he's mostly known as the creator of the comic Schizo (four issues), which is one of the best examples of an artist barring their nihilistic soul that you'll ever read. The first three issues are collected in a hardcover titled Misery Loves Comedy. While Brunetti isn't as self-deprectiating or as negative as he was in his first three issues of Schizo (or Haw!, which is a collection of single panel cartoons so demented that you have to be very careful whom you share them with), his comic book work is very self aware (maybe too much so, but he's able to substain all of his long diatribes without being boring and does so by using very different art styles that are all very refined and distinctive) and often has intellectual groundings. Brunetti's early Schizo is especially depressing, but it's done in very humourously (and often very adult) that leaves the reader feeling very sad for him while laughing at full tilt at the same time.
Michael Ogilvie, the project coordinator, was the person who contacted Ivan Brunetti and suggested he enter the competion of 35 artists that were vying to be selected and again, I want to express what a big coop this is for the city of Las Vegas, alternative comics, and Ivan. Local art critic, Jarret Keene, has a piece about Ivan Brunetti and Thirst: Aerial Gallery, in this week's CityLife (the February 21-27th issue, on page 41) available free throughout town or go to: www.lvcitylife.com and scroll down and click on the Art Splashes Of Ink link.
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