The myth of the bohemian painter as a brooding, heroic individual at odds with society has been an enduring aspect of public perception since the late 19th century.
In truth, artists have historically been less like troubled outsiders and more like the village blacksmith — hard working professionals plying a learned trade, often with the aid of others. This month’s exhibition at Semantics in Brighton, UPS: An Ugly Portrait Series, is rooted in the collaborative process of days past. Consisting of a series of four “self-portraits” by friends Matt Wiseman, Michael Willett, Jacob Isenhour and Geoff Cullen, the works in the show were begun individually then exchanged with each other cross-country via UPS for further elaboration. The gratifying results are a mash-up of saccharine colors, curious juxtapositions and even a few rhinestones. Hours: noon-4 p.m. Saturdays. Through Jan. 28.