What is real, and what is illusion? It's a very old question that painter Ron Bechet asks, one riddled with some equally old implications. "Is what cannot be seen reality or one's own perception?" For instance, is a tree just a tree, as it is for you and me, or is it more than what we think we see? Noting that in certain African cultures the Boabab tree is said to hold the earth together, and that the Buddha became enlightened under the Bodhi tree, Bechet paints trees, but of an especially local sort, the kinds of anarchic arboreal tangles that we normally associate with Louisiana swamps. But to Bechet these are "sacred or contemplative spaces." Rendered on specially shaped canvases, they are, he says, "temple passages," metaphors for "abstract concepts and old moral allegories."
Through July 30
Robert Bruno Gallery, 900 S. Peters St., 679-0001