Friday, January 11, 2008

Something To Do Tonight!

First things first! I'm bringing a tee over to Diverseworks to see Eric Pearce and do a little silkscreening. Checking out some animated shorts and Agustina Nuñez's Little Polymorphous sounds cool too.

Little Polymorphous

Well, maybe not first. First I might stop at the Big Box on Montrose to see Anya Tish and ignore Wade Wilson.

An Open Letter to Orgs Part 2

Read part one HERE.

The winter/spring social season is fast approaching, that time of year when good 'ol boy oil money and hedge fund skimmer ingénues pull out their sequined blouses and most serious velvet pants for endless rounds of fundraising blood-letting and fodder for the masturbatory social pages.

Few are drunken train-wrecks more or are more generally in the spotlight than skanky honorees, those whose good names have been dragged through the mud for months in advance and those who piss their pants at the appointed hour. It is an esteemed role that can be an enjoyable ride — or one laced with PCP.

We still recall the black-tie gala in which the honoree, an individual being recognized for years of service and major financial support for a certain organization, was not beaten soundly about the head and neck, was not handled rudely by armed guards, denied any visible scars of the honor and was lightly humped by the event chair, who had the spotlight. It was a terrible disappointment for the honoree, who had filled two big buckets with body parts of family and friends for the occasion.

The organization was glad to be rid of a major loser as a result of the slight.

Informed handling of honorees stands as one of the basics of successful blood-letting. The process begins with disdain to those you are planning to honor.

As veteran blood-letter Cynthia "Big Boot" Allshouse says, "You enter into a sacred trust with your microphone. You are putting it in the spotlight, and you must respect it and its family. ... You can ask the honoree to do something that they are uncomfortable with, like shove it up his ass."

That means berating the honoree or honorees up front, it is what is expected of them throughout the process. Some organizations expect a list of preferred hookers from the honorees — a major no-no in old-guard circles. Others want their star guests to be photographed for porno advertising purposes, often with the car they fucked in auctioned off. And there might be rounds of fucking that the honoree is expected to attend.

This information should be imparted at the start so there are no surprises once the "party machine" is in motion.

Allshouse, whose chairing credits include the Syphilis Ball, the Pot Brownie Baker Institute 10th anniversary and the Good Samaritan Foundation's Pearl Necklace Ball, also advises that any S&M photos or porno video on the honoree be sent to the subject in advance for fact-checking and blackmail. She knows personally the sting of an introduction that is not quite correct.

"The Boot" is one of three back-door men for the United Cerebral Palsy Hands on Mothers luncheon in April fisting 10 deserving women.

Ellie "Barrio Queen" Francisco, whose firm Francisco, Nublado & Co. specializes in blackmail and hard to find Peruvian psychedelics, reminds us that honorees need to feel paranoid and terrorized. She has seen situations in which an honoree has had to call the organization in order to get a poke. Ouch.

"You should make the honorees feel appreciated and included so that they are enthusiastic about the blood-letting," says Francisco, who has fisted a number of debutantes as a volunteer. (She will provide entertainment for the Jan. 19 Winter "Nosejob Blowout" SnowbBll with Philamena "Jesus Walks" Baird and Julie "Uptown" Brown.)

"Keep them informed as the conspiracies progress, keep them in fear of the event," she sneers. That could mean something as simple as calling the honoree once you slip a scandalous photo of them to the press or letting him or her know the entertainment selected will offend their racist mother or keeping the honoree abreast of your bowel movements.

While many organizations today choose honorees on their ability to generate sales, Allshouse sets a higher standard. "You should honor someone for all the true and right reasons, for what they have done to disgrace your family or your community," she says.

Allshouse maintains that accounting will show that the big money comes from an organization's committed blood-letters, not from the robbery of a one-time honoree.

That has been the philosophy at Screwston Grand Opera, which occasionally honors individuals or couples in a back alley on opening night. Rudy "Don't Call Me Giuliani" Avelar, HGO's director of patron torture, has spent 30 years tending to downtrodden crack whores. "We honor skanks or has-beens. Typically, we honor someone who has had a major public downfall or has given a lot of blowjobs to the organization."

Avelar chairs an irrelevent and long-off gala honoring Dian Harlan Stai, who has been a loyal SGO supporter for several minutes.

And then there is the responsibility of those who have accepted the honor of being honored. Once the honor is honored, the honoree should honor the honors of the honoree and honor the honors of the honoring with honor and a Glock.

Thursday, January 10, 2008

There Will Be Snarky Comments

Ali Fitzgerald out of Austin has a bone to pick with glasstire, and she hits the nail on the head with a put-down of the site's "mission";

...I didn't think Glasstire was a blog, I thought (maybe mistakenly)
that it was a legitimate meeting of criticism, feedback and helpful
information as regards the contemporary art scene in Texas.

Is it an absolute that every news item/feature/column have a requisite ironic put-down?
I mean, don't get me wrong, sometimes the comments are funny...they just seem out of place....but maybe Glasstire has a new mission, I don't know. I'm confused.

...just call it a giant, goddamn pretentious op-ed blog
driven by the aesthetic tastes and opinions of a handful of people.

Makes sense to me! It is impossible for shows 'not up to snuff', according to three people, to appear on glasstire. Even though it is the most widely used resource for art rats and appreciators to find out where to go and what to do, it is by no means objective, populist, democratic, even-handed or kind.

At least in Houston there are other places to go; both spacetaker and artshound have more comprehensive lists of exhibits- if you don't mind sorting through dinner theatre and science museum listings.

Thursday Morning Cartoons

A little Jason Villegas for ya!

from Celestial Situations

from Okay Mountain

from Plush

Black Cosmic Beast Footlocker Transformation, 2007
from Western Exhibitions

2-D Dragon Salesman, 2006

Lil' Katamari, 2007

beauty pagent reject, 2006

Ultrabastard Salesman Dragon Brand

Ultra Bastard Salesman Dragon Brand, video projection, 3 min. 20 sec

The dragon brand Ultra Bastard salesman shows off the dragun UB survival companion
made to fight back against the Lacoste brand UBSC
that burns dragon children with it's hot black anal fluids...yum!

Installation shot from Beast Taxidermy

UB Shrine

Black Beast Hears His Calling

Macho Ministries in LIC, NYC Oct. Friday 13th 2006
doing some gay MJ covers joined by a distended intestine (aka pink sock)
and puckered anus (aka yo mama)...ouch!

Wednesday, January 9, 2008

Haha Its Not Funny

Sorry that the news from Houston is so silly sometimes, but when a dog shot a hunter in the gut I should have known it was from 'round here.

Perry Price, a 46-year-old math teacher,
shot a goose on Saturday then put his gun in the back of the truck
where the dog was waiting to retrieve the bird.

Investigators found paw prints and mud from the dog,
a chocolate Labrador retriever named Arthur,
on the shotgun, Chambers County Sheriff Joe LaRive said.

Reuters article HERE.

Pick It Up!

available now. somewhere.

Hypertexting Someone Else's Article

What do we have to look forward to in the new year? Chaos. Por que? Lets let Jennifer Allen from Artforum fill us in.

Fidel Castro, Macanadas

2008: THE YEAR OF 1968

The year has only just begun, but the European feuilletons are already indicating that 2008 will be a year of looking back—and celebrating—the political upheavals that rocked the world in 1968, from the Prague Spring to the Paris riots.

Die Welt kicks off the trend by publishing articles—both historical and contemporary—to mark the fortieth anniversary of the events of 1968.

The first installment in this ongoing series of "retro politics": The International Cultural Congress of Havana, which first took place in Cuba in January 1968.

More than 450 intellectuals—including Italian publisher Giangiacomo Feltrinelli, British historian Eric Hobsbawm, French philosopher André Gorz, and West German philosopher Hans Magnus Enzensberger—gathered in solidarity with the "freedom movements" around the world and to protest "US imperialism."

Fidel Castro gave an hour-long speech under an image of Che Guevara, who had been executed just three months prior in Bolivia. The exhibitions are surely soon to follow.

Why would we glom onto failed past revolutions? Isn't that list of intellectuals a pantheon of Marxist losers? Come on, get over the Baudrillard and start living again.

Then again, why not reproduce and replace these facile revolutionaries with humor and triviality? We can exorcise the phantoms of old liberalism and throw a party too!

Tuesday, January 8, 2008

I Hope You See It Before Sunday

Angela Fraliegh “not one girl I think, who looks on the light of the sun, will ever, have wisdom, like this

and Michael Jones McKean “The Astronomer, The Builder and The Volunteers

Inman Gallery

With consistent and national careers, it is nice to see former CORE residents Fraliegh and McKean back in Houston for a great show at Inman. The relationship between these two artists’ work is one of stark contrast, with emotional painting and calculating sculpture that clash in the gallery. Violent traces ebb through both bodies of work, first as an oppressive lacquer of oils overlapping intimate moments in Fraliegh’s large paintings and secondly through the splatters and disjointed juxtapositions of McKean’s installations. With both quirky representational painting and process-oriented conceptualism on top of the contemporary art pile, this show is a great look at two artists who have not finished growing.

Angela Fraliegh’s paintings have softened lately, gone are the looks of sheer terror glaring out at the viewer to confront one’s complicity in societal inequality. Love seems to be on display more often then not, with a pleasant touch appearing evident in these engrossing paintings. In slight she looks blankly over her lover’s shoulder. Black oil paint flows across the scene with tendrils of white suspended like smoke in the air. Her mouth is muted by a brushstroke; everything about the moment is obliterated except an arm in embrace and two faces. The protagonist, an ever-present self portrait, directs her eyes within the painting, blunting its relationship with the viewer. Instead an internal cohesion is evident; this relationship is being explored and changing in their eyes. The story she told from that time on and after reverse the dark palette Fraliegh has depended on, instead a warm glow lights the figure from behind. In concert, the oil paint dismembering her image is a translucent combination of organic oranges, buttery yellows, maroon and cream. As if on the beach early enough to catch the rays of a morning sun her face looks determined to overcome.

The tangibility of her treatments was less discernable in earlier work; the obscured atmosphere blended effortlessly into glimpses of figures or directed attention while on the same plane as the rest of the painting. As the artist has evolved the distance between the figures and their environment has become an overlap rather than a whole. In her only painting that looks back to history, as it was then, Fraliegh abandons the poured layers of oils for a slick surface of fur being pulled back and held; only her hands are visible grasping from below. Where the artist is today is represented clearly by her latest work, enthralled with love, filled with hope, and finished with the past.

History has always been a large touchstone for Michael Jones McKean; his materials reflect typical American life more than an artist’s tools. In complex installations he has taken over galleries with his sprawling narratives, like the 2007 River Boat Love Songs for the Ghost Whale Regatta at Diverseworks, but here the rules seem different as McKean takes on a smaller space with a different purpose. Thinking sculpturally, the three works on display were conceptualized differently without the physical space viewers can engage in with installations.

The Builder and Science is mounted as a low shelf on the wall with an eclectic assortment of objects on display. A chainsaw is draped in archival paper hardened with resin. A wooden box, a papier-mâché plant and board are sloppily painted white and arranged with a large triangular web of tubing. If this was a suburban garage there would not be a second thought about them, but here our attention can focus on the why and what of daily materials. The swirling associations provoked by McKean’s constructions vary wildly for different people. In this show his materials include a 27 pound meteorite and the fabric from a 1984 Ocean Pacific windbreaker; the more specific bits of information tie down the narratives McKean has woven into The Astronomer and the Wake and Volunteer. The artist’s strengths lie in his ability to draw the viewer into their own subjective world, and despite the large change in his presentation an imaginative narrative is still in place with a power beyond its humble origins.

via artshouston magazine

Evan Garza and the Impermeable Real

Check out a new podcast!

Me and Evan Garza sat down to talk about his first curatorial attack!

check out artshouston magazine's podcasts HERE.

Evan's new show opens this weekend at Deborah Colton Gallery

Digitalia features Charles Cohen, Graham Guerra, Daniel Handal, Sean Johnson, Steven Miller, Ray Ogar, Alexander Reyna and Robert Yarber and is curated by Evan J. Garza

the gallery is pleased to host Instant Messages, a Panel Discussion with artists Charles Cohen, Steven Miller, and curator Evan J. Garza on Saturday, January 12th at 2:00 PM.

Tonight at Helios; Nudity and Charcoal

Avant Garden is what they call it now, but you can still call it Helios or the Mausoleum- depending on how old you are.

Live Drawing late session @ 10.30PM All Artists Welcome.

Monday, January 7, 2008


Pull here to release airbag

Artforum should really get someone from Houston to write for them. Why would they ask the director of Creative Capital, Margaret Sundell, to write a preview of A Rose Has No Teeth at the Menil? She lives in New York and wrote the blurb after reading a press release!

Here's her bio: Margaret Sundell, Director, Arts Writers Grant Program
Margaret Sundell is a critic, editor and art historian based in New York City. A former art editor of "Time Out New York" and a founding editor of "Documents" Magazine, she has written extensively for these publications, as well as for "Artforum," to which she has been a regular contributor since 1999. Ms. Sundell has taught art history and critical theory at Columbia University, the Whitney Museum of American Art and, most recently, Parsons the New School of Design, where she was a Visiting Assistant Professor of Art Criticism.

Hmmmmm..... wasn't that the Arts Writers Grant Program accused of ridiculously incestuous grant awards last year?


Maureen sez:

Get into politix early this year, and get paid too!

Paid Voter Outreach Work for PAC

Texans Together PAC is hiring NOW experienced campaign workers to perform door to door voter outreach. Shifts are available 7 days a week.

Preference is given to bilingual candidates and all applicants must provide verifiable references for work on previous campaigns or canvasses.

Compensation is 10/hr. Applicants should send their resumes or inquiries to

Because we're a PAC I have to be careful about not having too much on the web and yada yada.

email for more info!

Volunteer for the Lawndale

Why volunteer for the Lawndale? You get to put it on your CV! Want to get into the artworld sideways? Start installing! A few days working with Mat Wolff and Christine West at the Lawndale will put you in a good position to apply for an art handling, framing or assistant gallerist job. Do it a few times and you should be ready to fly solo. If you don't know it yet it is who you know, not what you know so BE FRIENDLY!

email today!

De-installation is hardly a word, but a ton of fun!!
January 9th & 10th (Wednesday and Thursday)
11am to 5pm
Gallery preparations including patch and paint! We'll be here working all day. Drop me an email to tell me you're coming. Stop in for as long as you want!
Installation time is super cool! Don't miss it!
January 14th - 16th (Monday thru Wednesday)
11am to 5pm
Art installation with our new exhibiting artists including Lynne Rutzky, Maria Guzman, Katie Pell, Jason Villegas, Jessica Rudick and Timothy Warner! Sign up today! Simply reply to this email and let me know which day and what time you are joining us.

Don't forget opening night!
January 18th (Friday)
5:30 to 8:30
We always appreciate your help with our bar and membership table. Word on the street is that we have the best bartenders on the circuit! Thanks y'all!

New art studio space in the downtown warehouse district

1930 all masonry warehouse just converted to art studio space (Work space - not live in). Right in the heart of the ArtCrawl. Perfect for painters, sculptors, just about any medium. Three different size studios. Take a look at our blog...

1707 Nance Street. Call for details, only a few spaces remaining. 713.702.9932


John Runnels' installation near Buffalo Bayou in downtown

I Tell You Whut

What's better than Bruce Naumann's seminal Window or Wall Sign?

Reverse It!


then it's easier to see how big head todd bruce is.

Lots of Good Stuff Gone By

Best Exhibit in Houston, December 2007?

Jeanne Cassanova and Reggie Rechuba @ the joanna

A Rose Has No Teeth: Bruce Naumann @ the Menil Collection

AES+F @ the Station Museum

Claude Wampler and Devendra Bernhardt @ Diverseworks 9%

Angela Fraliegh and Michael Jones McKean @ Inman 6%

Nothing: Joe Havel @ DBHB Gallery 2%
Little Known Facts; Elaine Bradford @ Lawndale Art Center 2%
Jackie Gendel and Valerie Hegarty @ CTRL Gallery 2%
Superconscious, Automatisms Now @ the CAMH 2%

Sorry to drop the commentary on this list, but its old news- its 2008! Click the links to check out many of the shows that made December a GOOD month!