Sunday, June 14, 2009

Visiting Every Art Gallery in Houston

Not me. Beth Secor. She is an artist, a curator, a writer and a blogger over at Glasstire, and she sets out to visit and report on every art gallery in town.
There are at least 100 galleries, if not more in Houston, and I would fathom a guess that few among you, my dear readers, have even visited 25 of those, if that many. And why is that? Why don’t we go to more galleries? Is it because they are too far away and gas is too expensive? I know why you don’t go. It’s because those other galleries don’t show Core Fellows, and you are really worried about appearing uncool. That’s the real reason. Admit it.

Well, I already know I’m not cool and because of this I have the freedom to visit every friggin’ gallery in the whole damn town. I am going to start out in the Heights and then spiral out to other parts of the city. I don’t want anyone to have any false expectations - these aren’t going to be full on reviews and I am not going to give you the entire history of the space, I might even get the name and address wrong, and if a place is too far away, I’ll just make up shit about it. And no, I don’t have air conditioning in my car and yes, I have bursitis in my right elbow and am typing everything out with my left hand.
Her first visit is to a gallery in the Heights that really gets the business. My recommendation to the galleries--let Beth Secor take pictures. Because even if she offers up a negative review (as she does here, oh, boy, does she!), at least the photos will let the gallery speak for itself, and frankly, you are trying to sell art and not letting someone photograph it for a review is pretty piss-poor marketing. Plus, if you don't let her take pictures, you might get the "honor" of having her recreate the artwork for you.
The very worst pieces in the show [...] were both made by a person whose name I will not reveal, in order to spare them the public humiliation. These works were constructed of orange peels, which in one case had been tacked to the wall behind the gallery desk [...].

Since I can’t show you the original because of the no photo rule, and in order to help you understand my extreme annoyance, I recreated and photographed one of these “whatevers” at home. Granted the gallery attendant did not look like Humpty Dumpty, and the “artist” did a better job of peeling her oranges in long coiling strands, but you get the general idea. Except I kind of like my photograph, so maybe you won’t get what I’m saying after all.
Gallery owners--this is what you might get if you don't allow a reviewer (particularly Beth Secor) to take photos:
Artwork cruelly recreated for the purpose of mockery by Beth Secor.

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