Exhibit Is Science Fiction Fantasy Area Student Creates Scary Images with Variety of Schemes

Article excerpt

Although several currents run through Rik Selby's new exhibit in Alton's Mudd Gallery, one of the most interesting derives its inspiration from the movies and book covers of fantasy and science fiction.

Selby, an art student from north St. Louis County, has created several interesting images and objects using the now-familiar array of creepy arthropod appendages, gnarled raptor talons and slimy reptilian skin textures germane to the sci-fi/fantasy genre.

He doesn't use them to create monsters, exactly. Rather, he employs these conventions to gain access to that realm of the subconscious where surrealists have traditionally ventured in search of their sometimes ominous dreamscapes.

For example, his pencil and watercolor drawing, "Deus Ex Machina" poses a human female form with skin peeled back to reveal a steely, mechanistic skeleton. The metaphoric terrain that Selby explores here - having to do with the way human feelings can be socially quelled, to the extent that we sometimes think, speak and behave as though we were machines - isn't particularly new. Yet he manages to render it with an image that is striking enough to capture the eye.

In the pedestal-mounted metal sculpture, "Molten Atrophy," a globe fashioned from scraps of brass, nickel, copper, bronze and aluminum sits poised atop three vicious-looking talons. …