It may not be what Johnny Cash had in mind when he performed "Folsom Prison Blues," but Spanish-born, Folsom, La.-based artist Jose-Maria Cundin is not alone in regarding the artist's studio as a self-imposed form of confinement. The artist describes his portraits, such as Spanish Lady with an Excellent Pedigree (pictured), as "portraits, self-portraits, anti-portraits and pseudo-portraits that stand at the crossroads of morals, meanings, and metaphors." But like Cash, he never forgets his audience, believing art should entertain and be emotionally accessible. Born in Spain's Basque Country in 1938, Cundin says he became a citizen of the world, but never lost the spirit and tragic romanticism of his homeland. He writes that being Basque means, "I see and face life as a mysterious and ancient existential commitment." And so he does, if occasionally with a wink and a nod. — D. Eric Bookhardt
Folsom Blues and Yellows: Portraits, Self-Portraits and Anti-Portraits by Jose-Maria Cundin.
Through Feb. 28
Gallery Bienvenu, 518 Julia St., 525-0518; www.gallerybienvenu.com