The Circus Comes to Town
Rancho Palos Verdes, California 90275
What could be more magical than the circus?
Recall your childhood excitement when you learned the circus was coming to town: the arrival of the circus train with its gaily decorated box cars followed by the wonderful parade of the animals through downtown streets to the spectacular big tent. Then the big day itself: the roar of the lions and tigers, the death-defying stunts of the acrobats, the noise of the crowd, the antics of the clowns, the smell of the elephants, the taste of buttery popcorn!
Yet there’s also a haunting side to the circus, said Scott Canty, the Art Center’s exhibitions director and curator for this exhibition. “It’s a scary, somewhat dark, side hidden behind the bright lights, shining costumes and upbeat music. It’s the sad clown, alone at night in his tiny trailer.”
Both the upfront glamour of the Big Top and the haunting, behind-the-scenes tawdriness of the backlot are captured in these paintings, photographs, sculpture, puppets and neon pieces by contemporary artists, including Allan Conrad, Allen Cook International Puppets, Jorg Dublin, Meg Escude, Nicholas Fedak, Carolyn Fernandez, Jim Jenkins, Phil Joanon, Steve Krynicki, Dorothy Magallon, Jackee Marks, Pam Reid, Mayuka Thais and Lawrence Wallin.