American Splendor

Opening Friday: Besides its military might and Hollywood glitz, the United States arguably dominates the world in roadside kitsch. Sure, there are other contenders for the title: Think Bollywood billboards and German garden trolls. But for authentic, oversized, drive-by kitsch, We the People have an edge. Photojournalist Rich Frishman, whose pictures have had their moments on the covers of Life, Time and other publications, has an eye for the creatively colorful concoctions that line U.S. highways. In "American Splendor," he presents about 25 images — each up to 4 feet tall and 8 feet wide — of the scene in all its tacky grandeur from the Big Fish Supper Club near Bena, Minn., to the Bible-thumping slogans covering "Salvation Mountain" outside Niland, Calif. Typically he combines dozens, even hundreds, of photos with "postproduction" techniques that enhance details, adjust light and shadow, insert people and objects to enhance effects and ramp up concepts. His picture-perfect shot of "Ruby Montana's 1950s Modern Motel, The Coral Sands, in Palm Springs, CA" is shown here. (Artist talk 5-6 p.m. and opening reception 6:30-9 p.m. Friday, free. Mpls Photo Center, 2400 N. 2nd St., Mpls. Ends May 4. 612-643-3511,

Mary Abbe