The Art of Fantasy

Planet Bronze’s new exhibit, “Montana’s First Tasteful Erotic Nude Fine Art Show,” brings together imagination and fantasies of the sexual world. Each artist is passionate about the work they have prepared; this can be seen in the animated way they discuss their pieces.

Elaine Hansard, a talented sculptress working on an astrology series, had several bronze sculptures displayed. A topless mermaid wearing a baseball cap lounges on its display, soaking up the praise of its admirers. The “Aries” piece holds its horned head up proudly, the bronze skin shining under the well-positioned lights.

Dennis Harrington, the owner of the gallery, has his bronze sculptures scattered tastefully about the room, mainly consisting of beautifully rendered cowgirls. One of the most striking sculptures is a young woman standing in the rain, her clothes clinging to her body, the folds of her clothing expertly cast.

Small pots are set up in one corner of the room, nude figures drawn on them in Stephen Foster’s careful hand. Nearby, Justine Cranford has photographs on a wall that were taken through a colored lens, then lightly painted over to make the figures depicted in them look faded. It leaves one with the delightful concept to use their own imagination as to what is happening in the photos.

The rest of the show is made up of various paintings, most of them women, most of them full nudes. There are women seated by the fire, preparing to feast on the body of the women laying on the table. Several of the paintings include women in romantic positions with skeletons; these particular ones are fascinating to behold, giving a fresh perspective on the idea of erotica. Among the paintings there are two photos, one labeled “Man”, one labeled “Woman,” in black and white. “Man” portrays a figure covered in sand, the angles of his body pronounced, his face indistinguishable. The other is a nude woman whose body has been dissected with a sharpie, each section labeled. The projects makes the viewer think about our societal lives and the way we are each seen by others.

At its reception on Friday, Sept. 26th, a few of the artists engaged in a kind of performance art, drawing and painting a live model in front of the audience. Justin Hsu was the first artist to do so, setting up a drawing pad, and having the model stand on a table in front of him and pose for a few minutes at a time. He recreated her body in charcoal, doing quick figure studies by using strong action lines. These studies are now displayed behind the main desk of the art gallery.

The next artist, Lydia Lardy, had the model drape herself over the table while she streaked bold lines over her body in acrylic paint. The effect was striking as the model conversed with various audience members, presenting herself as an artwork in her own right.

This outstanding show can be seen at Planet Bronze, 905 N. 5th Ave. It will be displayed until Nov. 7, so visit it soon and let these accomplished artists invade your fantasies with their own.