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Illustrator Matthew Hamby uses the adjective “gnarled” to describe his style. Eyes are mismatched, finger joints are exaggerated, limbs are outsized and awkwardly bent -- Hamby’s figures are wrecked. But those aggravated contortions reveal the personality of his subjects, and gives them a sense of story. Hamby’s paintings are funhouse snapshots of the world, reflecting the obvious and not so obvious ugliness of people. But it’s a lovely ugliness, and he occasionally harnesses his scabrous lines to create loving portraits of Snoop Dogg throwing dice or the Beatles in their Sgt. Pepper regalia. Hamby shows his work along with Jessica Roller in the new show Creatures and Narratives, which opens with a free public reception from 7 to 11 p.m. Friday, September 4, at Mad Art Gallery (2727 South Twelfth Street; 314-771-8230 or www.madart.com). The show remains up through Tuesday, September 29.
Sept. 4-29, 2009

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