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Mythological Occupation: Paintings by Christopher Morrison-Slave 

Ah, the roar of the crowd, the flambeaux flickering luridly in the faces of grotesquely masked revelers writhing shamelessly in the streets. Yes, Carnival is right around the corner, and Chris Morrison's gaudily expressionistic and seriously slapdash series of paintings, Mythological Occupation, celebrates our beloved holiday. If you think the heat's got him hallucinating Shrovetide shenanigans, think again because August 25th marks the Krewe of Oak's annual Midsummer Mardi Gras, so if Morrison's lost his marbles, he's not the only one. Like the paintings, the Midsummer Mardi Gras on Oak Street has a besotted aura of sloppy delirium about it, a living-on-the edge quality made all the more daring in 2005 when it preceded the arrival of Hurricane Katrina by a mere 24 hours. Now that's a blowout by anyone's definition. -- D. Eric Bookhardt

Through August

Poets Gallery, 3113 Magazine St., 899-4100; www.poetsgallery.net

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