‘Selfie with Godzilla’?! Artist Fuses Reality and Science Fiction in Multimedia Gallery Show

'Tyrannasodaux Rex'

IT’S BOTH EXCITING and unnerving to consider how porous the line between science and science fiction has become in recent years. It seems when science doesn’t provide us with clear answers to our questions, we turn to science fiction — not for possibilities, but for a new set of facts.


Houston artist Neva Mikulicz, a self-described “nerd” with an alter ego named Commodore Mik, who once ordered Kirk to the Star Fleet Fat Farm so she could board and evaluate the condition of the Starship Enterprise, smartly and humorously blurs that line between science and science fiction in her new exhibit, Declassified, a collection of beautifully realized Prismacolor pencil on paper drawings, complemented by archival videos and LED and sound module technology. The show opens Saturday at Anya Tish Gallery.

UFOs, robots, and monsters both prehistoric and imagined are recurring subjects in Mikulicz’s artwork, which radiates with a 1950s “vintage-y” vibe, the decade when the automobile, rock’n’roll and television took hold of the country’s collective imagination.

But Declassified is no nostalgia trip. Some drawings mirror the look of our world as it is photographed and disseminated by handheld consumer gizmos, while other works are composed like panels in a graphic novel, a medium that many contemporary fine artists find inspiring. One features a T-Rex chasing an iconic orange-and-white-striped Whataburger cup; another is titled “Selfie with Godzilla.” Mikulicz also created a comic book to accompany the exhibition.

For those who feel a sense of humor is absent in about 99 percent of all contemporary art, Declassified will feel like a breath of fresh air. As Mikulicz explains, comedy, like science fiction, is “a good way to shine a light on ourselves, our prejudices, our uniformed ideas, our hopes and our fears.” Declassified does all of that and more, while acknowledging the potentiality of one’s overactive imagination for both good … and evil.

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