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House works

Intimate Rituals of Daily Life at the Signature Shop & Gallery

Buckhead's Signature Shop & Gallery plays host to a beguiling array of domestic horrors in Intimate Rituals of Daily Life. Especially engaging in this group of four artists is the toxically uproarious point of view expressed in Kathy King's hilarious platters, birdhouses and tea sets devoted to upending simplistic notions of domestic peace and romantic love.

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The Atlanta-based artist creates objects that undermine the very domesticity they are meant to serve and ornament. And in King's hands, the institutions of love and marriage are as breakable as her vessels.

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It is endlessly amusing to imagine, for instance, the response of the hypothetical newlyweds who might receive the platter King has embellished with the words "You Are Soooo Straight." In her signature dark hues and tongue-in-cheek text, King presents a boring bride and groom spouting thought bubbles above their heads picturing the hetero-fixations of breasts and babies. And her "Dating Series" trio of plates devoted to relationship horrors including "Baggage" and "I Swear This Thing Was Working" could drive you to an eternity of solo evenings in front of the TV.

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While King freaks you out for any future of domestic bliss, Janis Mars Wunderlich creates sculptures of motherhood that look like nothing less than totem poles meant to scare away all who dare enter the spider web of matriarchy. Like some Terry Gilliam set piece, mothers sprout tiny baby heads and gaping mouths filled with raging, wailing babies. The odd touch is wall text that attests to how much Wunderlich clearly loves motherhood. Go figure.

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Next to the emotional drag racing of King and Wunderlich, Jenny Mendes' small ceramic tiles can feel deceptively delicate. But don't let the soft colors and gentle lines hoodwink you into missing their dark undercurrents. Her figures cry rainstorms of tears and the psychic hothouse of family are big themes in these potent little works.

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And though also not without their own more subdued charms, Krista Grecco's sculptures of wide-eyed girls flanked by bunnies and llamas can feel a little more emotionally monochrome in this crazed company.



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