Spontaneity and calculation, fantasy and fact alternate in this superb show of two artists whose differences, while substantial, reflect a shared faux-outsider approach. SF-based Heather Wilcoxon, who holds an MFA from SFAI, builds expressionist gestures into cartoonish representations of humans, animals and alien spacecraft – the results being decidedly Neo Expressionist. Chicagoan Tony Fitzpatrick, an autodidact and polymath (actor, master printmaker, tattoo artist, former boxer), offers jewel-like collages built from vintage matchbooks and other printed matter that once promoted nightclubs, stores and defunct consumer goods. His works provide a gritty, nostalgic view of mid-century America, rendered in the manner of the Hairy Who artists (Jim Nutt, and Karl Wirsum) whose influence on him is obvious, but not so much as to feel derivative. He's definitely part of that movement's second generation.
Fitzpatrick’s small-scale collages bombard the senses with a surfeit of detail set against contrasting backgrounds that make the collaged elements leap out. They’re dominated at the center by heraldic images (bird, human or animal) and surrounded by cut out elements culled from the artist’s enormous collection of printed memorabilia, bequeathed to him by his late father to whom he was close. That relationship imbues his pictures with deep nostalgia, and you needn’t walk in Fitzpatrick’s shoes to feel it.