Vic DeLeon’s space in the Bemis Building is a wide assortment of antiques, vintage pieces of pop culture, and taxidermy. It is a quirky and crafted environment for DeLeon to work, creating art under the name Vic Delirium. No matter who you are, there is something in DeLeon’s space to arrest your attention—a vintage Beatles tin lunch box, classic Star Wars action figures, collectible LIFE magazines, taxidermy fish and insects, a Yemeni Tribal Mask, just to name a few. Visiting his space is always a delight during the Bemis Spring Arts Show and this year was no exception.
Artists’ living spaces and studios often reflect their style and process, but this is especially true in DeLeon’s case as the studio and its juxtapositions of the natural world, tradition and pop culture parallel his art in a life-sized scale. DeLeon creates miniature worlds that are indeed delirious, displaying—in his words—“the gritty, morose, and outright absurd underbelly of the Pacific Northwest.” Most recently, at the Bemis Spring Art Show, DeLeon also presented a series of miniatures depicting the various films of Wes Anderson. Rather than being kitschy, these works stand on their own—alluding to the film while not directly representing it. The house of The Royal Tenenbaums and the cross section view of the ship from The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou jut out from their frames, drawing the reader in with minute details.
Whether or not one is a fan of Anderson’s films, DeLeon’s creations display enormous skill in interpreting complex and mysterious narratives into a tiny space. DeLeon’s “still-life” style dioramas reveal that he is a unique storyteller in his own right. In one, a funeral is held for a deceased bee (Funeral, American Honeybee). In another, people marvel at giant insect egg cases in Day at the Zoo of the Future. Everyday objects, like a discarded tube of sunscreen, are fused with fantastical scenes and narratives. In the series Lost and Found in Seattle, DeLeon creates diorama-like artworks centered upon trash…literal trash. A discarded cigarette carton becomes the platform for two tiny motorcyclists and a discarded burger wrapper becomes a hillside for a herd of cows—a slightly macabre visual pun that is insightful and humorous, true to the artist’s style from the small to the large.
You can see more work from Vic Delirium on his Web site, www.vicdelirium.com.