It’s easy to get in a rut. Same meals. Same routes. Same wardrobe. Even same art. Salt Lake City has felt in a rut. For years now, murals have been popping up all over the place. Some of them very good. Some less so. But, good or bad, so much of it has begun to feel the same. Same artists, same styles, same motifs. Which is why “Jimax” is so welcome.
Like something out of a Fellini film, stumbled across in a nondescript alley in Salt Lake City’s Central 9th neighborhood, “Jimax” is a temporary installation by David Brothers unveiled Friday evening.
Brothers is multi-talented. Artist, writer, filmmaker, he has produced radio dramas, illustrated comic books, provided photos to magazines big and small and produced films and videos that have appeared at Sundance. By day, he creates sets for the film industry, using wood, paint and whatever else is at hand to fool the viewer. This line between the artificial and the authentic is something he explores in his own artwork —constructed sets that he builds in his studio and photographs.
With “Jimax” he has brought the set out of his studio. Presented by Atlas Architects, the installation runs between Scion Cider Bar & Laziz Kitchen. At the entrance, crude sculpted heads create a fun house vibe gone wrong, while inside, large, hand-painted canvases flutter slightly in the wind and evoke a street festival in Little Italy. The centerpiece is a beefcake sculpture surrounded by carnival lights and machinery.
It’s only up for a week, so you’ll have to hurry. But the hours are good: 24/7. The bright light of day will likely rob it of its charms, so try to catch it between dusk and dawn, when the lights are on and it is at its best.
“Jimax” is at 916 S. Jefferson St., Salt Lake City, Utah.
All images courtesy the author.
The founder of Artists of Utah and editor of its online magazine, 15 Bytes, Shawn Rossiter has undergraduate degrees in English, French and Italian Literature and studied Comparative Literature in graduate school before pursuing a career in art.