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Ray Donley: New Paintings, Old Obsessions 

Dark, brooding and imprinted with a luminous patina of the ages, these paintings at first suggest Dutch or Spanish baroque portraits. Look again, and there's an almost pop quality about them. Ray Donley's haunted visages appear to transcend time, as if figures from European history during and after the Renaissance had somehow been reborn as French Quarter street performers. Who are these people? Donley says they are "solitary itinerants who comprise what I term 'los bien perdidos' or 'the lost ones.' With their suggestions of silence, solitude, reverie and even madness, they evoke aspects of our more reflective and darker states. By tapping into these states, I seek to create an art that, while seemingly possessing a Renaissance or Baroque pedigree, is itself rich with its own mythic and symbolic potential." -- D. Eric Bookhardt

Through March 30

Gallery Bienvenu, 518 Julia St., 525-0518; www.gallerybienvenu.com

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