Review: Welcome to the Town of Tuccenen 

click to enlarge Schaaf's characters Tobacco Jasper and Sioux Twelve feature a colorful story to accompany the illustrations.
  • Schaaf's characters Tobacco Jasper and Sioux Twelve feature a colorful story to accompany the illustrations.

Three and a half stars

Big Car Gallery; through July 16.

No artist I've seen yet in this gallery yet embodies the Big Car ethos better than Brandon Schaaf. Let's just say that this ethos has something to do with art coming down off the walls and shaking you by the shoulders. This exhibit is about "four cool dudes who live, play, eat, work, and giggled in a Town Called Tuccennen," according to Schaaf.

You could've bought a burrito from the restaurant set up in Big Car on opening night and you could've listened to the band Honey-Beast in which Schaaf is a member. And let's not forget the art on the walls.

The heart of the art show are the four almost life-size portraits (original drawings on paper reworked in Photoshop and printed on Foam Core) are cartoonish evocations of the Honey-Beast band members. One of these characters is Schaaf's alter-ego Tobacco Jasper who's skeletally thin. This isn't exactly surprising since he has a hole in his stomach and a skull stripped of flesh for a head. Through this hole Sioux Twelve, a dude dressed just in underwear, puts his amazingly long snakelike arm through to hand a cigarette to Jasper.

There's also a story written about these characters, written on the wall in Sharpie, that you can follow along. But as often with a Big Car show, it would've been better if you'd been there First Friday.

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