“My upbringing was of the utmost normalcy and my life absent of conflict, depression and trauma, yet an unspecified rage consumes me and compels me to create meticulous objects of a high quality and distinction,” writes local artist-musician Treiops Treyfid, in an online presentation of his work in the December issue of the e-zine ArtsFusion. The emotion trickles directly into his paintings—abstract oil and acrylic compositions that hover stylistically between cartoonish cubism and surrealist urban graffiti. Treyfid paints dark, bold lines over bright translucent colors to define conflicting angles and layered piles of geometric shapes into his vision of a studious, illustrated anger. He’s a formal risk-taker whose care and enjoyment of the artistic process are clearly reflected in his playful experiments. The painting Smoking, for example—in which Treyfid has randomized his artwork by cutting earlier paintings into 10-by-10-inch squares and gluing them to the new canvas before overlaying abstracted cigarette ads and line drawings and subjecting the work to spray-paint stencils and a radial sander—is a dark thematic exploration that shows the artist at his finest. Other recent works, such as Cartoon Armageddon, and Take Credit for Brutality, suggest an intriguing new environmentalist moral direction for Treyfid’s painting. The exhibit runs through Jan. 15, 1999, but check out his work tonight at the opening reception as the guitar-cello duo Telegraph Melts stretches out newly recorded songs from its forthcoming album at 9:30 p.m. Tuesday, Dec. 15, at Utopia, 1418 U St. NW. Free. (202) 483-7669. (Colin Bane)