If the whole universe has felt a little topsy-turvy of late, have I got an art show for you.
“Sleep Tight” at Detroit’s Cass Cafe through Jan. 28 is a fun house of crazy imagery, created by the interestingly named Artsy Fart, aka Alyssa Klash and Alan Ledford.
The artists say this mixed-media series, digitally printed, represents the monsters that visit at night. There is, to be sure, a monstrous quality to these images of faces melting into colored drips, unattached body parts floating about and bacteria-like guys who resemble Casper the Friendly Ghost.
I guess the bottom line is that this particular shop of horrors wears an absurdly cheerful face, for the most part. Indeed, you might call some images like “The After Party,” with its purple and green Casper-guys, almost whimsical, apart from a certain indefinable ick character about the little fellows.
Klash and Ledford’s style is part loose Peter Max, part 1970s underground comics and part technicolor nightmare.
Eating at the Cass Cafe bar, artists Gina Reichert and Mitch Cope of Power House Productions on Detroit’s east side eye the canvases with amusement, but can’t quite put a finger on what they think.
“They’re very well done,” offers Cope.
Some, like “Overdose” — with little fish-like guys sporting a horn in one case, and a cyclops eye in another — are downright cute, despite the ominous shower of pills cascading around them.
By contrast, “Flower Girl” is a little alarming, with a pretty girl’s face morphing into a tangle of creepy flowers, complete with eyes, that appear to be shrouding her head.
That the blue-eyed young woman in question is also drooling some green goo gives this composition a disturbing tilt. It’s not all fun and games, after all.
Finally, rather like an illustration out of a children’s book, is “Dirty Laundry.” Framed by poofy clouds and a chunky quarter moon, it’s a goofy, hopeful subject with round, pink cheeks, loopy eyelashes, and a hobo’s collection of mismatched dirty clothes.
So if things feel out of joint these days, you might just find that these oddball characters at the Cass Cafe have something reassuring to say to you.
‘Artsy Fart: Sleep Tight’
Through Jan. 28
Cass Cafe, 4620 Cass, Detroit
11 a.m.-2 a.m., Mon.-Sat.; 5 p.m.-1 a.m. Sun.