Wichita artist Josh Tripoli might best be known for the murals he has created around the city. He works on a smaller scale, too, and recently completed a group of figurative paintings that are now on view in an exhibition titled “Lighthouse,” at Reuben Saunders Gallery.
The idea for this body of work originated in the Bible’s “bodies are temples” verse (1 Corinthians 6:19) which found a creatively compelling analogue in the body as a lighthouse.
The works have a surrealist/slightly deco tone, highly stylized, with a muralist’s crisp lines. White moons and beams flow into rounded and full female forms, with flowing blond hair, some with wings. Creamy paint applied smoothly over canvas with subtle brushstrokes. Colors, black, with brownish skin tones, with occasional bursts of hot and cool shades portraying a range of emotions.
The works are dream-like and stop just shy of new age iconography. They are definite and would command any space where they might hang. I see the muralist alive in these works, and this makes for a crisp and very smart show.
Josh Tripoli’s “Lighthouse” is on exhibit at Reuben Saunders Gallery, now through December 2nd.