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Street artist Deuce Seven returns to his stomping grounds

Deuce Seven, "Erin Jesme Christ," screenprint
Courtesy of Soo Visual Arts Center
Deuce Seven's "Erin Jesme Christ," screenprint

Three years ago, two storefront Minneapolis galleries, ROBOTlove and Soo Visual Arts Center, put on a solo exhibition of work by a relative unknown, Twin Cities street artist Deuce Seven. (Check out his street art.)

But the Soo VAC exhibition was just the start. Soon after, Deuce Seven came into national attention as well. In fact, he moved to New York City, then Seattle, with some work in a few exhibitions along the way. But Deuce Seven himself has been elusive, relying mostly on his website to engage the public.

His street-to-gallery story alone makes the new solo exhibition at Soo VAC a show worth seeing: "Lost Souls of the Cascade Tunnel" is the artist's triumphant return to his old stomping grounds. And the new work doesn't disappoint.

The wispy, arachnoid characters and trippy detail in the drawings and paintings are immediately recognizable as Deuce Seven's; but the artist's fluid lines are more confident than when I last checked in, his colors more vibrant. Suzy Greenberg, owner of Soo VAC, agrees: "One thing that really stands out to me about his new work is his mastery of detail and bold use of color. These new pieces have a lot of the familiar elements but the work is exquisite ... psychedelic, even."

Deuce Seven's pieces still have an appealing, unrefined edge, not only in the renderings themselves, but also in the materials he uses. Greenberg says, "Like a lot of artists, he's resourceful about working with the materials at hand and not at all precious about what he paints on. Even in his new work, he's using simple raw materials like paper, wood and found masonite."

See Deuce Seven's new work, "Lost Souls of the Cascade Tunnel," at Soo Visual Arts Center from today (March 13)-April 12. You can rub elbows with the hard-to-catch artist himself at tonight's opening reception from 6-9 pm.

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