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THE ART GALLERIES

Venice

September 25, 1987|Cathy Curtis

Texas painter Bert Long combines the pulse of a swap-meet scavenger with some sort of message about art and pop culture and heaven knows what else.

He revels in funk, decorating big fat frames with doodads like mirrors, rhinestones, a license plate and artificial eyeballs. The paintings themselves are ropy trails of bright color studded with images of gloved hands, eyes, false teeth and paint brushes and lots of other stuff.

In "Yellow Dog Walking on Water," a piece of wire fence keeps an evil-eyed pooch safe from viewer attack. The most ambitious painting of the lot is the nearly 7-foot-tall "Propaganda." It contains a trail of pebbles, scattered three-dimensional islands of old newspaper collages, a vaguely guitarlike piece of polished wood with a convex mirror and a hulking pale yellow ghost. What does it all mean? Maybe you have to eat more chicken-fried steak to figure it out. (L.A. Louver, 55 N. Venice Blvd., to Oct. 17.)

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