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MAY 10 - JUNE 29, 2008

M Gallery at 406 Main St. in T or C, NM will present Al Harp's E.T. "invaded" paint-by-numbers series May 10 – June 29, 2008, with an opening reception during Truth or Consequences’ monthly Art Hop on Saturday May 10th.

Worlds collide when bucolic, placid, unsuspecting paint-by-number art pieces are revolutionized by Harp's paintbrush. His intention is to recycle and re-work something that is vaguely familiar. Someplace in your sub-conscious lies the memory of such numbered oil painting set classics as:

“The snow scene,"
“A pair of pink flamingos in a tranquil bayou," or
“The sad clown.”

Do you remember? These are the mass-produced images that held the promise of "Beautiful paintings your very first try!" And their clever copy revered the product as "The art of creative relaxation." Ah, how could we forget?

For Al Harp, defining the series meant grappling with diverse concepts from E.T. and U.F.O. bible references, to terrorism and the NWO. All of the entities represented are painted from eyewitness descriptions tracing back to 1947, the year of the Roswell crash. It was then that the "Grey" alien species officially entered the lexicon, verbally and visually. Flying discs or saucers were introduced as well. They continue today as iconic pop archetypes, and have found their way into Mr. Harp’s home and heart through his constant creating and collecting of pop imagery. Combining the popular art contexts of an alien presence with the peaceful, promising paint-by-number was, perhaps, inevitable.

Al Harp spent twenty years in New York City making commercial and fine art. His work is included in MTV's corporate art collection. He moved to Truth or Consequences, New Mexico in 2000 and has been collecting, creating, and carefully watching the skies ever since.


click to see work from the show

click to read a review of this show



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