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Portraits of famous figures on display in Macon Arts Alliances new exhibit from local artist

The exhibit is called Enigma and features 12 paintings of figures in pop culture or history who have a complex and at times controversial legacy.

MACON, Ga. — On First Friday, you can visit the Macon Arts Alliance to see their August showcase by artist Caleb Brown. 

The exhibit is called Enigma and features 12 paintings of figures in pop culture or history who have a complex and, at times, controversial legacy.

Brown says the subjects can't be boiled down to being all good or all bad. 

"The truth is they're much more dynamic than that," he said. "They're fairly enigmatic, not to be corny, but they all have various parts of them that actually make them dynamic, and I think that life is a lot like that." 

The exhibit took a year to complete. Brown presents a wide range of figures from former presidents, singers, activists, and even characters from comics and television. 

He would describe his work as realism. Brown said he loves the ability to recreate a moment in history.

"Anytime you look at history, you may think, 'oh my god, what must it have been like to be there,' and the idea of being able to recreate that history in a way is real cool to me," he said. "It's really fascinating and actually fills me with emotions, gives me chills when I'm working sometimes."

Brown said ultimately, the show is about how there are no easy answers. 

"I've spent most of my life trying to be in control, make things orderly, put the puzzle pieces in the right places, and that's just caused me a lot of pain and irritation," he said. "You can have peace when you stop trying to stop the waves and learn to be a better sailor or get mad at the waves because they're rolling." 

"I think I want them to feel that perspective is in their grasp, that they can have peace in spite of the different things that we go through in life, even though life is this enigma," Brown added. 

You can hear more from Brown and see his work all month at the Macon Arts Alliance. 

The opening reception is on Friday from 4 p.m. until 7 p.m.

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