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Thomas Müller at Haus Gallery

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Watercolor elephants balanced atop dripping tomatoes?
Pink giraffes perched precipitously on a finite plane?
Who doesn't like elephants, giraffes, and tomatoes?

No one? Splendid, because these subjects make the most of it in this curious one-man show at Haus Gallery in Pasadena.

With a style reminiscent of a surrealist Richard Scarry, Müller imbues his work with a subtle sense of irony and whimsy that invites visitors to explore weightier issues such as the passage of time, aging, and the arbitrariness of meaning. Nothing lasts forever in Müller's world, except maybe time itself.

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Exactly what you'd expect to ponder once entering the cute little house-turned-gallery in cozy Pasadena, right? The small scale of much of Müller's work belies its lofty themes, but he's able to treat his subjects with a sense of delicate playfulness so as not to overwhelm the casual visitor. As evidence, guests are initially invited to sign the "guestbook" first, but not before literally wiping away the previous guest's name with a rubber eraser.

Exhibit runs through February 10th.

Haus will be sponsoring Haus Guests, a 200 artist exhibition to benefit the people of Darfur.