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Home / Art / A Campy Vision Takes You to Some Dark Places in Notes from the Dark Ride

A Campy Vision Takes You to Some Dark Places in Notes from the Dark Ride


Local artist Jon Read has created a comical, beautiful, twisted and colorful ride for all, on view at Domy books. The exhibition titled Notes from the Dark Ride takes the viewer through the paintings in a self-powered cart. The experience is like a more entertaining and completely endurable version of the Disney ride, “It’s a small world.”

Notes from the Dark Ride includes art and music in a well-constructed installation, which reflects the many facets of Jon Read. Read is obsessed with comic books, cult films, sci-fi and mythology/religion. He has received formal training in religious art through his work as a production artist, making large-scale Catholic statues, icons, and shrines. Folk art and neo-expressionism also influence his work. The familiar imagery of comic books, cult films, sci-fi and religion succeeds in connecting the viewer to some pretty gnarly, surrealist scenes.  His art seems like it was taken from bits and pieces of your memories, and you are left wondering how/why those memories took the direction they have in Read’s art.

The contrast of disturbing, erotic, or unreal images in the style of cartoons and religious imagery is also pleasing in a way that is part comical, and part fucked up. Read’s technical ability helped him accomplish this contrast successfully. He is currently the operations manager at Diverseworks Artspace in Houston.

Read also created the music accompanying the installation. You can find his music under the band name, The Wiggins, which has been called an “End of Times” sound. If that description alone doesn’t sell you, you can listen to The Wiggins’s through clicking this link.

Notes from the Dark Ride opens this Saturday, December 15th at Domy Books with a free reception from 7pm - 9pm. The exhibition will be running through January 17th, 2024.

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