Run, don't walk, to Motel
to see two of the most knee-weakening paintings to hit Stumptown since Tim Bavington's show at Pulliam Deffenbaugh four years ago. Twenty-eight-year-old Omar Chacon, who studied at the San Francisco Art Institute and now lives in Brooklyn, has two acrylic paintings in the entryway that divides Motel's two galleries, and they will floor you, provided you are the type to be floored by such things—and not everyone is. "Derivative," some will say. "Decorative," some will sniff. "Eye candy," some will harrumph. Fuck them. Anyone who cannot appreciate these concentric rhapsodies should be straitjacketed and forced, Clockwork Orange
-style, to sit with their eyes wired open and look at these paintings while Sammy Davis Jr. croons "The Candy Man" over the loudspeaker until they see the light. Born in Bogotá, Colombia, Chacon conjures starbursts of South American color, overlapping them until they become feverish psychedelic dreams. The larger of the two paintings is called Variation no. 2 on variation no. 1 on venezuelan globular cluster
. Only a painting this good could get away with a title that bad. Motel, 9 NW 5th Ave., Suite C, 222-6699. Closes July 1.
A block north of Motel, up Butters' skinny stairwell, is Juri Morioka's show of dazzling oil paintings. Making her West Coast debut, the artist, who lives in New York's East Village, creates delicious horizontal tone poems that appear abstract from afar but betray figurative elements up close. Many of these elements, which suggest flowers, lighting fixtures and Christmas ornaments, are scrawled in pencil, lending these otherwise bold, accomplished statements a tentative, childlike insecurity. It's an agreeable incongruity that further enlivens these already lively works. With their organic shapes and a color palette heavy on the greens, oranges and yellows, they hearken back to Frank Lloyd Wright's stained-glass Saguaro Forms and Cactus Flowers at the Biltmore Hotel in Scottsdale, Ariz. The works' only drawback is that their surfaces are too flat and lusterless, a failing that would be easily remedied by a liberal basting of varnish. Butters Gallery, 520 NW Davis St., 2nd floor, 248-9378. Closes July 1.