Saturday, January 19, 2008

Alex Wukman sez:

As quite a few people know I have lived in the Elder Street Artist Lofts for over 2 years.

This means that I get asked at least once a week what it’s like to live there. I thought I’d write and post this so people will understand.

First and foremost for those who want a big, cheap place where they can make their art without being hassled by a landlord or neighbors my advice is: look somewhere else.

The application process alone is upwards of 30 pages and requires at least 3 years of tax returns for the self employed. For those who work for someone else the process requires no less than three paycheck stubs.

After completing the application and gaining approval you’ll find out that very few of the apartments are actually designated as low income housing. The majority of them are “market value.” Market value is defined as anything over $900 a month.

Then you’ll find out that there is at least a nine month waiting list for consideration for a low income vacancy, and the current residents of the low income apartments have priority when their lease expires. You won’t find out that the waiting list is being run as an exercise in nepotism, in the last year and a half only the manager’s friends have been allowed to move in.

If by some miracle you are allowed to move in you’ll quickly realize that it’s one big pain in the ass. The management at Elder Street is intrusive to say the least and doesn’t mind you making art, as long as you keep the building clean.

And by management I mean the seven to ten different governmental agencies and non-governmental organizations that can, and will, stop by to inspect. These agencies and NGOs give only 24 hours notice and will pressure the landlord to evict you if you are not in compliance with every rule.

And by compliance with every rule I mean keeping the apartment spotless. Simply put if you make a mess you will get an eviction notice.

I’m not kidding when I say that I have gotten eviction notices for having a dirty toilet, too much paint on the floor and a dirty sink. I’ve also gotten notice for not turning in one of the many addendums to the lease on time.

In the two years I’ve lived there I think I’ve been presented with six or seven different pieces of paper that I have had to sign. Apparently each and every piece of paper was something required by some different government agency or non-government organization.

If you manage to make it through the term of your lease without getting on the landlord’s bad side, a feat in and of itself, you will have to go through the whole application process again and this time the landlord will be paying even more attention to your income. If you are accepted again chances are you won’t be accepted at the same income level.

Case in point my rent almost doubled this past October going from $324 a month to $580 a month because the landlord thinks I make more money than I do. And if you feel that the landlord made an error in calculating your income for rent, tough shit. There is no appeals process, in other words the landlord’s decisions are final.
Perhaps the best example of what Elder Street Artist Lofts is all about is one simple statement in the latest addendum to my lease. The statement is this: duplicate key cost, $25.

Now for those of you who are looking for low income housing don't worry I saw an ad in the greensheet yesterday that would perfect for a lot of you. It was for a place at 2307 Tuam. The rent is $127 a mont per $500 of income with a $1500 maximum income and the phone humber is 713.528.3037

'Children In Heat' at Lawndale Last Night

the view from above...

where Maria Guzman caused a panic throwing bills from the balcony...

luckily no one knocked over Jason Villegas' odalisque of cardboard boxes...

hi Jason!

film by Timothy Warner

Jason said this was his dick hanging out...

which makes this a blown out asshole

Ultra Bastard!!!

Jessica Rudick... these cell phone proxies
had obscene and banal text messages printed on them

Jessica Rudick

Timothy Warner gets his rocks off

Check It Out!

What to know what this is about?

Read Dale Stewart's take on glasstire HERE.

Visuals courtesy HERE and HERE.

Who Should Be the New Director of the Blaffer?

Friday, January 18, 2008

City of Montrose Pride

The Free Press, after presenting the City Council with a secession request, has released a line of Montrose tees.

Rev Up The Engine, But Make Sure You Get Out of First Gear Before You Get Out Of The Car

this is a press release...

Terrie Sultan to Leave Blaffer Gallery
After Nearly Eight Years as Director

Sultan to Assume Dictatorship of Parrish Art Museum in Southampton, NY

SCREWSTON, Tejas – Jan. 18, 2008 – Sultan has led the Blaffer since 2000, doubling the operating budget and staff while organizing notable exhibitions including “Chuck Close Prints: Process and Collaboration” in 2003, “Jessica Stockholder: Kissing the Wall” in 2004, “James Surls: the Splendora Years” in 2005, and “Chantal Akerman: Moving through Time and Space,” which opens at Blaffer Gallery today before touring nationally.

“Personally, my time in Houston has been extremely rewarding,” Sultan said, “and the community has been welcoming and generous. The state of the museum is strong. We have established a world-class exhibition and educational outreach program. I’m confident the Blaffer will continue as a jewel in the city’s cultural community.”

“During Terrie’s tenure, Blaffer Gallery has become a benchmark for what a non-collecting university art museum can achieve. She has made significant contributions to the University of Houston and the city at large. We wish her the best in her new post,” said John Antel, dean of the UH College of Liberal Arts and Social Sciences.

The Museum will form a committee, led by Dean Antel and Russell Sherrill, the Blaffer Gallery advisory board chairman, to conduct a national search for Sultan’s replacement.

Dude, give the job to Claudia Schmuckli. She worked at the MoMA, writes a lot (and well) and she brought Urs Fischer to town.

Mark Larsen sez:

SATURDAY January 19
7:00 - 7:45pm performance, 7:45 - reception (indoors)
10 donation requested for performers

The Mardi Gras Indians' costumes can weigh up to 100 lbs.

Houston Institute for Culture and Zulu Connection present

"Mardi Gras Indians--the parade most white people don't see. The ceremonial procession is loose, the parade is not scheduled for a particular time or route...that is up to the Big Chief." - Larry Bannock

Typical Mardi Gras organizations will form a "krewe." A krewe often names their parade after a particular mythological hero or Greek god. The ranking structure of a Mardi Gras Krewe is a parody of royalty: King, Queen, Dukes, Knights and Captains...or some variation on that theme. Many more established Krewes allowed membership by invitation only.

Few in the ghetto felt they could ever participate in the typical New Orleans parade. Historically, slavery and racism were at the root of this cultural separation. The black neighborhoods in New Orleans gradually developed their own style of celebrating Mardi Gras. Their "Krewes" are named for imaginary Indian tribes according to the streets of their ward or gang.

The Mardi Gras Indians named themselves after native Indians to pay them respect for their assistance in escaping the tyranny of slavery. It was often local Indians who accepted slaves into their society when they made a break for freedom. They have never forgotten this support.

In the past, Mardi Gras was a violent day for many Mardi Gras Indians. It was a day often used to settle scores. The police were often unable to intervene due to the general confusion surrounding Mardi Gras events in the city...where the streets were crowded and everyone was masked. This kept many families away from the "parade," and created much worry and concern for a mother whose child wanted to join the "Indians."

We usually don't schedule events in January knowing Houstonians' distaste for cold, but these performers need cool weather because of their enormous heavy hot costumes.

We plan to record their drum and dance performance outside (45-50 degrees) then we'll move indoors (72-74 degrees).

Visit for more information.

NOTE: 2008 will be key to our future...
5401 Jackson at Prospect (near the Children's Museum) enter on Prospect St.

for more on the history of these performers and their ties to the creole culture, visit HERE.

Thursday, January 17, 2008

Oh Shit

FOTOFEST is coming... that means EVERYTHING is gonna be photography. Every opening, museum offering, lecture, program, visiting artist and gala.

They're all about Chinese Transformers this time around. Or something like that.

Starts March 7. Hide quickly.

Check It Out! Beard Lovin'

Sean M. Johnson, After Dinner With Michael and Darren, 2007

Sean M. Johnson, James and Christopher beard rubbing, 2007

@ Deborah Colton right now...

Need more?

Free Today

... and open til 9pm! Check out the MFAH's Klines, Gustons, Pollocks and Judds.

Kline, Orange and Black Wall, 1959

Britt From the Chron lists and lightly frosts them all HERE.

"The Diebenkorns alone make this show a treat. Fortunately, so do plenty of other things."

Dude, these couple of sentences are unacceptable for the writer and the editor.

William Christenberry, Church, Sprott, Alabama, 1971
both Walker Evans and Willam Christenberry photographed this small church, 35 years apart

New room of Surrealist work at the Menil and Clare Elliot's photog show of rural Southern work too.

Do It

The best place to get off the ground! Volunteering at the Lawndale, participating in the Big Show and Dia de los Muertos and applying for an exhibit are the best ways to get your butt off the couch and your art into the gallery.

Lawndale Art Center is now accepting applications for proposals, due March 15th.

Building at 4912 Main offers four exhibition spaces:

John M. O'Quinn Gallery
2257 sq. ft. Floor Space, 2400 sq. ft. Wall Space, 16 ft. Ceiling
Click here for full floor plan

>Grace R. Cavnar Gallery
650 sq. ft. Floor Space, 850 sq. ft. Wall Space, 8'6" Ceiling
Click here for full floor plan

Mezzanine Gallery
1089 sq. ft. Floor Space, 850 sq. ft. Wall Space, 8'6" Ceiling
Click here for full floor plan

The Project Space
525 sq. ft. Floor Space, 523 sq. ft. Drywall Wall Space,
381 sq. ft. Masonry Wall Space, 10'11" Ceiling
Click here for full floor plan

Visit HERE for proposal specs or email Dennis at for info.

Hear Hear!

"No one disagrees in the art world. There is very little active disagreement in the art world, especially compared to the literary world where people eviscerate each other. You have an argument in the New York Review of Books and you have the writer and his friends piling on, and in the art world you don't have that. I wish you did. I'd love nothing more than for a pile of letters to come in to tell me I'm wrong... not because I might change my opinion if I found something there, but you want to get people riled, get people agreeing or disagreeing with you. But in the art world, because success is so based on inside information and insider relations, I find very few people tell you what they really do think.

"I want them to say, 'I really disagree with it, do you really think what you wrote is correct?' Am I naïve to think that?"

via Christian Viveros-Faune on Modern Art Notes

Dammit, I think that's just perfect.

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Lots To Do Friday

Three great gallery openings on Alabama at Main and two non-profits with big shows!

Inman Gallery
Little tiny things by the whole crew including Bill Davenport and Katrina Moorhead.

Finesilver Gallery
Leonardo Drew plays with cardboard, cotton and cloth in large messy installations.

CTRL Gallery
The Thames Mudlarks
How did Bryan get the hookup with all these London artists? I'm sure someone knows!

Lawndale Art Center

Children in Heat
Jason Villegas, Jessica Rudick and Timothy Warner try to fuck with your head.

The Best That I Can Give You and Less Than Half of What You Deserve
Katie Pell blisses us out.

Moving In
Maria Guzman! Found objects, cloth monsters and animals.

Blaffer Gallery

Jeanne Dielman, 23 Quai du Commerce, 1080 Bruxelles (1976)

Hotel Monterey (1972)

Chantal Akerman, video documentary work from Russia after Gorbachev, Jasper, Texas after the dragging death, and Arizona border crossings.

All shows open Friday, January 18th

6-8pm for gallery shows
6-9pm for Lawndale and Blaffer

That's Funny

One of these days they're gonna rename 59... Interstate 69

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Matt Messinger sez:

I'm going to be setting up a mini working gallery outside of B.J. Oldies Antique Shop - on Westheimer (right on the curve before Montrose.) Live Painting, Mixed Media Construction and Art Sale.

Saturdays: 10am to dark

Hope to see you.
You will see me.


Hunting Prize

Who are the jurors of this year's Hunting Prize?

Rene Paul Barilleaux, chief curator of the Marion Koogler McNay Art Museum in San Antonio;
"One of the most important groups you see around the museum are the docents…you know, tour guides…trained tour guides…in fact, very well trained tour guides. "

Peter Briggs, PhD, Helen DeVitt Jones curator of art, Museum of Texas Tech University in Lubbock; "These are the most striking and provocative teapots from that St. Louis show."

Christian Gerstheimer, curator for the El Paso Museum of Art; "The panel discussion about the exhibition on June 24th generated many questions and dialogue."

Amy Lewis Hofland, director of the Trammel & Margaret Crow Collection of Asian Art in Dallas; "The combination of the artists' touching stories and the aesthetics of the carvings distinguishes this very special collection"

Victoria Lightman, co founder and principal director of the "Looking At Art" education program; "In terms of state funding for arts, Texas is dead last"

Michelle Locke, associate curator of the South Texas Institute for the Arts in Corpus Christi.

I feel remorse.

Is it Winter?

Calvin and Cree

Reply to:
Date: 2008-01-15, 8:13AM CST

Cree and I are artist /photographers who are trying to keep the weirdness and recognize the beauty of Galveston . If you are from Galveston you are already familiar with our work. We are art. We live art and as our recognition grows so does our message of get out and live your life. Support us and enjoy us.. Hope to see you at ARTwalk this Saturday the 19th at Fullen Jewelry , 2215 post office. Look for the beach balls !

Our private page. Bookmarking is the only way to get back to it.

Outside Bush's home in Crawford, Texas

Monday, January 14, 2008

Poll Results- Montrose Wins!

Best Neighborhood for Artists in Houston?

Montrose- 27%

The Heights- 25%

Warehouse District- 15%

Galleria- 10%
5th Ward- 10%

3rd Ward- 8%
Rice Village- 3%

Montrose, the gayest neighborhood in Texas, is also the best neighborhood for artists! Why would the bars and clubs and bungalows of this area transitioning between gay slum and urban professional capital market be so enticing? Because there's always something to do! It's like Greenwich Village in 1990. Everyone has stories about how good/bad it "used to be around here", but for young artists this is the best around.

The Heights, Montrose's sister neighborhood, is only a short jaunt across Buffalo Bayou. Pretty much like Brooklyn, the area is transitioning from middle class families to hipsters and yuppies. A new gallery seem to open every three months and bars and coffee houses are taking advantage of the new hipster surge. A sleepy burg that is waking up with a caffeine IV.

The Warehouse District or East End is still scary enough for most Houstonians to shit their pants if they find themselves on a dark road in the middle of the night. Many artist studios still hold on in the West End and old Chinatown, but new construction threatens rental rates and house parties with respectability and attention from HPD. If you can live without air conditioning and with rats, this is the place for you.

Uptown, or the Galleria, is a sprawling mix of strip malls and apartment complexes with the only real population concentration in Houston on the south side. Long known for its 4 massive malls and the car culture decadence of the Richmond Strip, not much art is exhibited here, but the rents and the jobs are where its at.

The 5th Ward extends from east of the Heights north past the 610 Loop, and the moniker is applied to much of the northside. Like Queens, but with worse drainage, 5th Ward is incredibly diverse, residential and sprawling. Crumbling infrastructure and city services contribute to the most fertile ground for graffiti writers, rappers and outsider artists in Houston.

3rd Ward, the birthplace of Screw, is much more tied to the inner city than the northside, and the contrast between affluent and destitute is palpable. Like the Bronx if concrete was reversed with overgrowth, 3rd Ward has always been one of the most inspired neighborhoods in the city.

Rice Village is wedged between Rice University and the upper middle class West University neighborhood. Why would artists live there? They're rich, or they like to sit around at cafes or cruise college girls at Little Woodrow's. The view is great.

Bloom For Spring

Today the spring semester begins, and down at University of Houston they're not even waiting for the weekend to have their first exhibit in the Project Space on the 4th Floor of the Art Department. Thicket opens Thursday, January 17th from 5-7 pm. Stop by for a look at what the kids are doing, and to see Ann Marie Nafziger's newest evolution.

This painter grew up in rural western Ohio, lived for a time in Portland, Oregon and built a home in Marfa, Texas. Her lush canvasses have always relied on an organic cohesion, linking her work with artists like Joan Mitchell and Jean Arp. In a period of reflection and experimentation with monoprints Nafziger concentrated her imagery on botanical chaos, and in a radical departure from her earlier work the artist has embraced stencils, airbrush paint and wall installation. One of the most intelligent artists working today in Houston, Nafziger brings a tenderness to her exacting intentions, balancing priorities between emotional and intellectual prowess.

Another Thing Coming

Something Like Thistles



Sunday, January 13, 2008

Fresh Starts at the Art Car Museum

Jim Hatchett


Perry House


Ibsen Espada

Art Car Museum HERE.

Digitalia: Intimacy in the Hyperreal at Deborah Colton

Pics from last night!

Bound VIII and Bound IX, Steven Miller

Jenny (approachable), Daniel Handal

the big hit was Sean M. Johnson's Beard Love video

the sculptures outside David Addicks' studio

damn you Andrew Jackson!

DC Gallery HERE.