Zach Franzoni: Disrupted Identities | Mestizo Institute of Culture & Arts | Galleries & Museums | Salt Lake City Weekly
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Galleries & Museums

Zach Franzoni: Disrupted Identities

When: Mondays-Saturdays. Continues through Feb. 10 2015

Identity can be a puzzle, as people try to figure out their place in the world, and Zach Franzoni takes the visual metaphor of the puzzle to its extreme. But then, being originally from Detroit, the local artist is fascinated with the ways the urban environment shapes the individual. The shapes of his figures take on the labyrinthine circuits of plumbing conduits or city thoroughfares, or other symbols of power structure that constrain and oppress the underprivileged. For example, if you follow the twists and turns of "Pencilman," you'll find that one of the subject's extremities ends in the sharpened tip of a writing instrument. Another one ("Torch," detail pictured) holds a torch aloft, like the Statue of Liberty. The body mirrors how social institutions like education and political entities not only must be navigated to advance in society; they constitute the structure of society. Movement appears difficult for these characters, not only set against their surroundings as mazes, by negative space, but also seemingly embedded in their surroundings, boxed in. These paintings, drawings and mixed-media images are somewhat cartoonish and playful, but also contemplative and tinged with pathos as we witness their desire to escape an imprisonment not of shackles, but of misshapenness. To delve into their dilemma, we must wander through the mazes with them. These identities—in which we might see ourselves—aren't disrupted so much as distorted, in search of disentanglement. (Brian Staker)