Four and a half stars
Alchemy Art & Aesthetics
You might not expect to see world-class art when you go somewhere to get your hair done. But this is indeed possible in Fountain Square: Alchemy Art & Aesthetics co-owner Robert Meko is displaying five of his large canvases during the month of December. These realistic portraits in oil depict human subjects in motion. The subjects, all in their 20s, look like the kind of people who might themselves be starting businesses in Fountain Square or trying to earn a living as artists in a souring economy. The dead-on attention to detail is striking. In “Belly Up,” the subject defies gravity during a backward jump while his shadow falls on a yellow background; you can see the resulting tension in his facial and arm muscles. Meko uses digital photos of his subjects (who obviously couldn’t pose in such positions) as a reference, and such use seems innovative here. These are bold and masterful paintings that deserve your attention. Through Dec. 27; 317-634-9700, www.myspace.com/alchemygallery.