First-Friday Hit list

Juxtapoz-subscribing fans of the lowbrow art movement should be apprised that Mercy Seat Tattoo (210 East 16th Street, 816-421-4833) is one-stop First Friday shopping for regionally inflected pop surrealism and bold, vivid works befitting the gallery space of, well, a tattoo parlor. Tonight from 7 to 10, Chicago painter Ellen Greene opens Baby, Remember My Name, a William T. Vollman-like exploration of the lives of transvestites, whores and bad girls generally relegated to society’s outskirts. Greene’s troubling work incorporates visual conventions from tattoos, religious icons and movie posters, precisely rendered in bold compositions.• Poster art, populist and deliberately eye-catching, is an age-old medium for propagandists, advertisers and politicians that generally involves attractive combinations of text and graphics. An art unto itself, Shepard Fairey’s 2008 Obama poster demonstrated the enduring and resonant power of the medium. Drowning Creek Studio, a Georgia print shop specializing in the printing of large-scale rock posters, has been under-credited for the bold design work of owner Jeff Wood. Over the years, the studio has largely phased out collaborations with other artists in favor of Wood’s in-house artwork. A show titled Rock Poster Art of Jeff Wood opens from 6 to 10 p.m. at the 1819 Gallery and Event Space (1819 Central, 816-200-3417) and offers a glimpse into the art, process and business of poster printing, including uncut press sheets, some of which contain two different posters printed side by side. • Chinese painter Deng Wushu will attend a special reception for his striking exhibit, Through the Eyes of a Child, a charming and evocative series of cool-palette variations on the theme of children wearing mirrored shades, sometimes presented against international urban and traditional Chinese landscapes. Perfectly capturing expressions and communicating innocence, the paintings represent the cultural transcendence of visual art. Wushu’s paintings also reflect a certain optimism not necessarily present in American fine art; the children gaze sunward in a visual gestalt of international hope. But we swear it’s not cheesy. The show closes September 25. Meet the artist tonight at 7 at the Byron C. Cohen Gallery (2020 Baltimore, 816-421-5665).

Fri., Sept. 4, 2009