Best Of Tucson®

Best Local Visual Artist

Mat Bevel

Mat Bevel Institute perches on the edge of downtown. Inside is a panoply of moving objects--gizmo-laden sculptures with clackety gears, lights bleeping on and off, colors galore. It's a manifestation of the strange circus of Mat Bevel's mind. His sculptures are made from things people throw away--an Earth beach ball becomes the Ironic Lung sucking the air out of the hemoglobal consciousness. The Think Tank--its head aglow from a green light and a Frenel lens that stretches out Bevel's face like an eerie hall of mirrors--zombies the kids in the audience. The sculptures don't sit quietly atop pedestals. They're enlisted to perform tricks. It's not a rave. It's ritual, like church. It's what happens when you don't put art in a frame.

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