Arts & Culture » Arts

In the Galleries: Nikki and Jan, closes February 18 at Los Caminos

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This spare, evocative exhibit by local artist Jake Cruzen consists of a trio of bare halogen bulbs, each of which is screwed into a socket that's wired to the end of a long black electrical cord. Cruzen has surrounded each bulb with the sort of wire cage you see on so-called trouble lights, and inside each cage he has placed several broken chunks of colored glass. The effect is to cause the bulbs to cast blue, green and magenta halos all around this apartment gallery. One light dangles from a hook, the other two artfully strewn — suggesting an impending theatrical event or perhaps one the viewer has just missed. At night the tableau is infiltrated by streetlamps and the intermittent low-beams of passing cars, whose noirish monochrome cast periodically usurps the artwork. Through it all, the three objects persist, and in their inscrutability they demand scrutiny. (What kind of a spectacle — or anti-spectacle — is this? Who are Nikki and Jan?) As slight as it all might appear, doesn't all of this mirror our own desires when looking at art? Always demanding a key, never satisfied when one is freely given, forever awaiting the verdict of an ultimate arbiter. Through February 18 at Los Caminos, 2649 Cherokee Street; www.loscaminosart.com. Hours: by appointment.

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