Fullerton, CA Last night, on Saturday evening I found myself walking into some sort of Wonderland that seemed as if it were on the other side of the looking glass...
A living room fit for a wizard... a giant chandelier with flickering candle-light hung in the center of this small alternate universe I had stumbled upon... Plush and ornate couches invited me to sit in front of a large fireplace with fluttering flames, falsely warming the room while I take a gander at beautifully rendered and creatively re-imagined illustrations and read the classic fairy tales of the Brothers Grimm...
Portraits of creatures covered the walls with decorative ornament enhancing my intrigue... I felt like I was 11 years old again, standing in the fairy tale world that I so desperately wanted to escape to.
...This transformed space was the East Gallery at CalState Fullerton's campus. The imaginative master of this unique experience was Jacob Romeo Lecuyer. With the help of his partner and wife, Renee Rose-Perry, Romeo turned an M.A. exhibition and a book preview into an imaginative realm for people to escape to in an originally white cube gallery space. The contemporary art world rarely allows such classic creativity and artistry to take such power over a space, but the new interpretations of the classic fairy tales from the Brothers Grimm by Romeo lend for nostalgia and passionate thought as the viewer moves through this transformed space.
Romeo is a witty and fascinating character on his own, so it is no surprise to me that he is able to be so clever and creative with this small space. Examining this artist I noticed a collection of accessories that re-appropriate already existing gadgets into personally helpful devices. His cell phone sits attached to his belt with the help of a crafted velcro device that also houses his blue tooth ear piece. This strange inventiveness and craft completely parallel his art. His art re-appropriates characters and concepts that we can already recognize and turns them into something new, interesting, and provocative.
An M.F.A. student in CalState Fullerton's Illustration program, you can peer into his glass-walled studio space at Grand Central Art Center, and see what other crafty devices and artworks he is dreaming up next.
*Iron John is up til March 25th, 2011. More info at www.jacobromeo.com
Evan A. Senn, contributing writer for OCArtBlog, founder of RARW and www.rarwart.com