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Back to Reviews 96

Ionel Talpazon
UFO Coming--Planet 
Energies, 1993

UFO pictures 
in Talpazon's 

 Copper and brass 
rocketman construction 
by Clayton Bailey

Warren Pierce
Visitors from Home

David Huggins
Holding Alien Babies

visions of space 
and ufos in art

at american primitive

by Carlo McCormick
A recent discovery made headlines on every 

newspaper in American--"Life on Mars." But 

it hardly takes science to spark the 

fascination that the idea of alien life 

holds upon our collective imagination. The 

cover of the Sept. 24 edition of Weekly 

World News claims that an alien, captured 

by the FBI, has warned us of an impending 

invasion from space. This latest war of the 

worlds is scheduled for Nov. 27, which is 

really a shame since that means that the 

hordes from outer space will miss this 

wonderful exhibition of works depicting our 

neighbors from beyond. The show, at 

American Primitive Gallery only till Oct.

26, weaves together visionary art and 

outsider expression to present a multitude 

of extraterrestrial representations, from 

personal encounters to cosmic mystical 


This art thrives in the margins of truth, 

belief and fantasy, held on the one hand as 

hidden meaning and post-divine truth 

obscured by government and media 

conspiracies, and on the other as the 

delusional hallucinations of desire and 

confusion projected onto the unknown. Thus, 

our relation to these UFO visions is a 

Rorschach test of faith and fact, a test 

that emphasizes the generally subjective 

terms of most of our discourse. 

That said, we of course had our favorites. 

Among the most singularly obsessive is 

Ionel Talpazon, a 51-year-old Rumanian 

emigre who has been drawing, painting and 

sculpting UFOs for almost three decades. 

Guided in part by his "acceptance by the 

aliens visiting Earth," his fascination is 

with the flying saucers themselves, 

rendered variously in pseudo-scientific 

schematics incorporating explanatory texts, 

in scenes where they explore unearthly 

dreamscapes amidst vortices of energy, or 

as UFO sculptures ornately embellished with 


Particularly disturbing were the paintings 

of David Huggins, whose experiences with 

alien contact date back to his youth in 

Georgia and apparently continue to the 

present day in New York, where Huggins has 

lived since he was 19. As in the case of 

"buried memories," Huggins only began 

recovering his blocked memories of alien 

contact in 1988. As his narrative paintings 

relate, he now remembers having sex with 

aliens, spawning a whole legion of 

offspring, visiting them in their nurseries 

and discovering his unexplained healing 

power when he touched one of his sick 

children. Other standouts include Stephen 

Powers' architectural models, Paul 

Laffoley's transpersonal visionary 

cosmologies and the comic, quirkily 

idiosyncratic whimsy of Jim Bauer's robotic 


American Primitive Gallery, 594 Broadway, 

#205, NYC, NY 10012, Sept. 12-Oct. 26, 


CARLO McCORMICK is associate editor of