Visual Arts Picks

PERLA SITCOV/MARK MOODY

When scientists first started taking macro photographs of microscopic phenomena, a bizarre alien world opened up, as different from our everyday experience as anything on Mars or Saturn. Two art shows in town offer differing but intriguing variations on life beneath the looking glass. Perla Sitcov, showing at Gallery 4Culture, uses macro lenses to photograph constructions cobbled together from thumbtacks, plastic flowers, and other junk. Her little manufactured worlds, populated with candy-coated flowers, sunny hillsides, and pirouetting puffballs (as in Greenscape, right) manage to be both cozy and threatening in their Prozac cheeriness. Meanwhile, at Cafe Solstice in the U District, Mark Moody (a research scientist at the University of Washington) uses microscopes and macro photography to discover cryptic worlds just under our noses. His close-up views of Dungeness crabs (see Crabby, above) and dusty insect collections are loaded with horror-movie creepiness, while shots of flowers and other natural forms have an elegant Day-Glo beauty. Perla Sitcov: Gallery 4Culture, 506 Second Ave., Suite 200 (Smith Tower), 206-296-7580. 8:30 a.m.–4:30 p.m. Mon.–Fri. Mark Moody: Cafe Solstice, 4116 University Way, 206-675-0850. Both shows run through July. ANDREW ENGELSON

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