Monday, September 20, 2010

Notes on the Joanna Gala

Saturday, The Joanna had their "gala." It was not a black tie affair. In fact, it was officially a costume party. The theme? Sexy Godz. Guess who I came as.

Robert Boyd

This photo was taken by Troy Schulze, the art writer for The Houston Press. Someone I know once complained to me that Schulze writes too many bad reviews, but I say, kill 'em, Troy. Reviewers need to challenge artists to do better, and to challenge readers to expect more.

Cody Ledvina

Cody Ledvina was the maestro of the raffle. They did it Box 13 style. But they made an error when they set up the raffle. They made the tickets too cheap: $1 each. It was too easy to game it. Consequently, I ended up winning four pieces. (I'll put them up later.)

Robert Boyd,Skeez

This photo was taken by whoever was holding Aimee Jones' iphone. From right to left: Skeezer Stinkfist, me, Aimee Jones, and some person I don't know.

One pleasing thing about this party was the large number of beautiful women there. There were even a pair dressed as nymphs (or elves, but since I was Pan I chose to interpret them as nymphs). But I have to admit, being around young pretty women like this made me feel like a dirty old man. (But I felt like a dirty old man at the Rice-UT game a couple of weeks ago, so perhaps feeling like a dirty old man is a natural result of being 47.)


The most interesting conversation I had, in a night full of interesting conversation, was with a sculptor who I won't name who ragged on painting. He considered it a pointless, archaic exercise, the need for which was utterly obviated by computers and various graphic softwares. He was specifically talking about how wrong it was, in his opinion, that painting seemed to be favored at UH over sculpture. And he spoke of sculpture's obvious superiority over painting--how sculpture could be almost anything: assemblage, installation, performance, etc.

Now I thought this argument had begun in 1979 with "Sculpture in the Expanded Field" by Rosalind Krauss and ended in 1981 with "Last Exit: Painting" by Thomas Lawson. But apparently it is alive and well, and what was kind of exciting was that this somewhat theoretical argument had a real-world effect--the focus of teaching studio art at UH. I liked the passion the sculptor had. What do you think, painting fans? Can you defend this ancient artistic medium?

Anyway, that was the Sexy Godz Gala. I'll try to refrain from writing about (or attending, for the most part) galas in the future...


  1. Grafitti in the sculpture shop toilet at the Lawndale Annex, circa 1988: "Sculpture is great" with an addendum by another hand "... for leaning on while looking at paintings." S.O.S.

  2. And... Ad Reinhardt said "Sculpture is something you back into while trying to get a better look at a painting."

  3. Right about the time Reinhardt died (1967, I think), painting was eclipsed by sculpture and other 3-dimensional forms for about a decade until the 80s. Already during the 60s, he had to have seen some amazing advances in sculpture--Caro, the minimalists, etc. He was, however, a very witty guy.