Carbondale artist Jonathan VanTassel opens Art Base exhibition | AspenTimes.com

Carbondale artist Jonathan VanTassel opens Art Base exhibition

Staff report

Food entombed in resin and anthropomorphic hot dogs made out of steel and plaster, vibrant abstract-realist and Zen minimalist oil paintings stand alongside one another in Jonathan VanTassel's playful new exhibition at the Art Base in Basalt.

Titled "Value Menu," the show of two- and three-dimensional works opens today and will run through Nov. 2.

"Some works of mine are a result of simply working and waiting and are entirely different than what I was planning to make," the Carbondale-based artist said in the exhibition announcement.

Trained at Indiana University and the University of Colorado-Boulder, VanTassel has had his work exhibited in museums and galleries across the U.S.

"Regarding my 3-D works, I have been meaning to entomb fast food in resin, like the beautiful displays of bread and dips that Pizza Hut and others present," he explained of the sculptures in the show. "They should be kept. And then I fell in love with a hot-dog man in New York — the form would be so sweet in a marble-like white I thought, and so many meanings are available. I spent a long time researching what a hot dog means culturally. … They represent Americans, and they are delicious. I think it's funny — trying to make the hot dog part of the conversation."

VanTassel also will discuss his work and host art-making activities at a "coffee, collage, and donuts" event Saturday from 10 a.m. to noon at the Art Base.