By Mariah Mann Mellus
I’m a little bit of a partier; I plan my weekend events months in advance with the Third Friday of the month always reserved for the Salt Lake Gallery Stroll. The anticipation of seeing new art, people and conversations, never knowing where it’s going, it’s makes my heart pound a little faster and harder every time. This month, the Stroll falls on Friday April 21st and Circle Lounge will host a Gallery Stroll wrap-up party. The wrap party offers a warm dry location to decompress and discuss the shows seen during the Gallery Stroll, and it provides a venue for up-and-coming artists to showcase their work all month long. This month the featured artist will be Xkot Toxsik (Scott Toxic). His show, “The Eye and Beehive Residents Gazer,” will display the best and newest of Toxsik’s work, giving you a sample of the Toxsik Experience.
Years of Gallery Strolls and interview protocol were pushed aside when I was phoned hours prior to meeting Toxsik and told I would need a secret password to gain entry to our meeting spot. This would be a good time to take along backup, but there was no time to rope anyone into it. As I climbed the steps I saw something stirring inside the living area. There were three men dressed up as mystical creatures, dancing around the room inside what I assumed to be ritualistic circle. My hosts were introduced as Baby Cyclops, a pink four-armed creature carrying Cyclops’ babies in its uterus; Master Mayhem, my tall, dark and grotesque friend with a dangling eyeball, and the Master of Ceremonies, Xkot Toxsik. The creatures are members of Toxsik’s Band God Star, who were on SLUG’s first Death by Salt CD and have played numerous private parties. Toxsik explained that the band and art started out separately; but the music influenced the art and the art influenced the music and it just seemed like a natural process to introduce the two worlds. This multi-talented artist had a few tricks up his sleeve so I shouldn’t have been surprised when he revealed a series of Mormon tarot cards. Toxsik, with a great understanding for the creation of the world and its biblical figures, designed a complete breathtaking set, which can actually be used in tarot readings. His symbolism and quick wit are present in all of his work, including his endearing comic book characters. The characters are a perfect fit for the Circle Lounge; the Meat Monsters are brown and chunky creations, roaming the canvas, ready to clog and ooze at their prey while the petite Sushi Fairies flutter around with grace and beauty. It’s worldly and metaphoric, scary yet cozy, and it’s all the Xkot Toxsik Experience.
For more on Xkot Toxsik and the God Star Experience visit Xkot Toxic or Godstar and support local art!