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John Lamb, Published September 05 2012

Three of a kind? Trio eyes Rourke show

MOORHEAD – Spider? Punchgut? Billy Black? Is the Rourke Art Museum hosting a new show or a superhero convention?

It’s the former, but this collaborative exhibit by three very different area artists should stop viewers in their tracks.

The show is called “Voyeurs,” and according to the press material, the name reflects the French meaning (“one who looks”) more so than the popular, perverted American use.

While the show focuses on three artists, it also allows the viewer to see through their eyes.

“I was excited about the possibility to bring three artists together,” says Rourke Director Tania Blanich.

Noting their different styles, Blanich sees similarities and how their works resonate with each other.

Arguably the best known of these names in the arts scene, Punchgut (Matt Mastrud) is popular for his graphic concert posters. His other art reaches in different directions, with pop culture commentaries of celebrity (spray paint portraits of Roxanne Saberi and Mad Frank) or moody, atmospheric prints and paintings.

Mood and atmosphere are major themes of Billy Black, the nom de plume of Bill Marcil Jr., publisher of The Forum.

The Fargo photographer’s black and white portraits have been featured at the Rourke before in the annual Midwestern exhibits, his 2008 solo show and the 2009 “Beautiful Women of North Dakota” collaboration with his wife Chris Linnares. This time around he weaves in color, like in the sultry street scene, “Paraty, Brazil.”

Steven “Spider” Johnk sticks to black and white with his charcoal drawings. While he started out studying art in college, he switched to working in advertising and commercial work.

Though he hasn’t had a local show since 2003, patrons of the HoDo Lounge are likely familiar with his work – his depiction of clowns in a bar hangs over the back door.

He’s kept his hand to the paper and finished a new batch of drawings for “Voyeurs.”

“That was icing on the cake to get a show with Spider,” Blanich says. “I get to showcase not one, but three people who haven’t shown here for a while.”

If you go

What: Voyeurs: The Art of Billy Black, Punchgut and Spider

When: Member’s reception from 6-7 tonight, public reception from 7-10, including music by Heavy is the Head. Artists’ talk at 2 p.m. Sunday.

Where: Rourke Art Museum, 521 Main Ave., Moorhead

Info: Tonight’s reception and Sunday’s gallery talk are free and open to the public. The show is on display from 1- 5 p.m. Wednesday through Sunday, through Oct. 14. (218) 236-8861

Readers can reach Forum reporter John Lamb at (701) 241-5533