"Funhouse" is defined by its enticement. Each piece in the show - from six artists including Kent Grosswiler, Tala Catrene Kanani, Jordan Molli, Rachel Nicklaus, Theresa Touma and Charles Wince - is wildly imaginative and tempts the viewer to explore its amusing and occasionally inexplicable eccentricities.

"Funhouse"

"Funhouse" is defined by its enticement. Each piece in the show - from six artists including Kent Grosswiler, Tala Catrene Kanani, Jordan Molli, Rachel Nicklaus, Theresa Touma and Charles Wince - is wildly imaginative and tempts the viewer to explore its amusing and occasionally inexplicable eccentricities.

A prime example of this is Kanani's "Welcome to the Pork Show," the piece that served as the impetus for "Funhouse." Sean Christopher Gallery owner and curator John McCutcheon first saw the piece last winter at a pop-up gallery in Clintonville. He was immediately enamored with the provocatively whimsical sculpture featuring a toy pig lying on a large pink pillow. When the toy pig is turned on, its movement drives the two larger pieces - one including an odd face - to rotate.

Kanani's second piece in the show, "Charlie," also features movement via toy. She removed the inside of a dancing stuffed animal and attached it to a large hypnotically patterned fabric. The robot dances when turned on, creating a wave effect on the bright orange backdrop.

"These pieces are very different for me. They do have similar attributes to what I normally do, in that my pieces always have bright colors. And it's kind of kitschy. Other than that, these two pieces had no preconceived notion. They came from a place of freedom," Kanani said of how she created these works after recently graduating from Ohio State. "These are some of the most honest pieces I've made in a really long time. And it's a good representation of who I am - they're colorful, quirky and kind of weird."

While Kanani's three-dimensional works will grab viewers' attention, the two-dimensional pieces are also exciting, although slightly subtler in characteristic. Grosswiler's headshot paintings feature figures from both the pop culture and socio-political realm - anyone who's inspired the artist. Grosswiler's comprehensive knowledge of his subjects comes through in the witty titles, including the Grand Master Flash piece "I Got Waterbed Seats in My Limousine."

"I've always had, since my earliest memories, an insatiable appetite for music, reading, movies, television shows. I think in its own way that stuff has been blended up together and comes regurgitating out in whatever combination it wants to, really," Gosswiler said.

Sean Christopher Gallery
Through June 27
815 N. High St., Short North

"Brian Reaume: A Celebration of Pride and Friendship"

Local painter Brian Reaume (in collaboration with photographer Chad Cochran) recently held an expansive and powerful exhibit in March at the Cultural Arts Center featuring some of the artist's best work to date. Reaume isn't resting on his laurels, as he's already setting out on a new series of paintings, two of which will debut at Mouton.

The series, "Unalterable: The Human Condition," will explore complex emotions - often brought on by outside forces of both a personal and cultural nature - through movement on the canvas.

"I have been thinking about doing a visual series on the human condition for some time and I felt the pull to bring a bit more political awareness into my work, and can one do such with only movement and color? I felt that the boiling point of gay marriage, racial tensions, immigration, poverty and the political divide that the next election will bring have created an environment of abstraction in our culture, a fracturing of thought and idea," Reaume said.

Reaume will be at Mouton Friday and Saturday, for those looking to get a deeper understanding of his inspired new series.

Mouton
6-9 p.m. Friday and Saturday, June 5-6
954 N. High St., Short North
mouton954.com

Photos by Meghan Ralston