Kent Grosswiler, known to Facebook friends as Kent Gee, isn't really a painter. At least that's what he'll tell you.

Kent Grosswiler, known to Facebook friends as Kent Gee, isn't really a painter. At least that's what he'll tell you.

Unschooled in the visual arts, Gee claims that he only started painting because friend and artist Rob Jones "tricked" him into picking up a brush one night. He calls the result "a garish portrait of a Carol Burnett/"Idiot"-era Iggy Pop hybrid. I'm talking totally heinous."

Nevertheless, Gee's kept it up for more than five years, and the enjoyment he's found in the practice is starting to rub off on viewers. After recent appearances at Agora and It Looks Like It's Open, Gee's now presenting his first solo show at Cap City Tattoo.

"Painter" or not, his approach is refreshingly direct.

As Gee explained, "Everything doesn't have to be so stuffy. I want to make people smile, maybe scratch their head. If I can make myself giggle, that's usually a done deal."

Fortunately, Gee has a great sense of humor, and he incorporates a vast wealth of pop culture references to create work that's familiar enough to be accessible but weird enough to stand out.

With naive style and wild colors, he pimps out Greedo from "Star Wars," revives Colonel Klink and Sergeant Schultz from "Hogan's Heroes" and has a giant, fire-breathing Grover from "Sesame Street" invade the quiet lakeside landscape of a painting Gee found in the trash.

Gee is pursuing creative writing studies at Columbus State. To see examples of this work, visit the tattoo studio and take note of the titles of his paintings.