Thursday, October 11, 2012

Tragi-comic Links

Robert Boyd

Houston's most famous artist. The Uriel Landeros story never stops. He's been covered recently by the Houston Press, CultureMap, Glasstire, Pan and even Hyperallergic. But there is some highly amusing coverage that is several months old that I somehow missed. First, ArtInfo published a review of Landeros work based on his Facebook page images. Relevant quote:
This flower painting is a reference to Georgia O’Keeffe, while the swirling gray backdrop alludes to the rolling clouds of Vincent van Gogh’s “The Starry Night.” [...] Red and yellow are also colors associated with fire and heat, of course, and their emergence here from a green stem could be seen as Landeros’s way of tapping into a culture-wide anxiety of apocalypse — itself merely a collective externalization of our individual fear of death — or the plight of agricultural workers in the drought-ridden Southwest.
Keep painting, Uriel, wherever you are. You’ll get your solo show at Shafrazi Gallery someday! ["Portfolio Review: The Art of Houston’s Fugitive Picasso Vandal Uriel Landeros," Benjamin Sutton, Blouin ArtInfo, June 26, 2012]
The last sentence was the most important.  Apparently Eric Felton of the Wall Street Journal didn't read it.
Police have yet to find him.
But the art world seems to have discovered him. This week the online magazine Artinfo lavished Mr. Landeros with the sort of attention aspiring artists would kill—or at least vandalize—for. The article [...] praised his "vibrant oil painting" of a bullfight, saying it "juxtaposes this primal, ritual duel with symbols of humanity's fundamental split between male and female traits."
[...] Artinfo raves that he "incorporates an impressive range of symbols with a relative economy of means," noting that little spermlike squiggles suggest "Freud's death drive, and the Sartrean existential crisis induced by self-awareness." Another painting is likened to the work of "Georgia O'Keefe" [sic] and Vincent van Gogh. Oh, and don't forget the canvas featuring "lily pads floating on scorched waters" with its "environmentalist commentary on global warming."
I'd like to think Artinfo's writer is engaged in a terrific act of satire, spoofing art-world pretension. Alas, I fear it's just another example of the art world swooning for the "transgressive"—that is, anything that violates social norms. ["The Betrayal of Art By Artist-Vandals," by Eric Felton, The Wall Street Journal, June 28, 2012]
Of course, Bloun ArtInfo crowed about the WSJ's obtuseness. It's like when some ultraconservative group uses an Onion article to bolster their argument about the evilness of liberals.

More art for Cowboys Stadium. It's weird to think it, but word-based conceptual art seems to be perfect for Cowboys Stadium. These rebellious artists who once sought to dematerialize art and use it to critique late capitalism are now enshrined in a temple of conservative capitalist values. The latest acquisition is Jenny Holzer. Of course, she doesn't need to build a display for her Truisms--Cowboys Stadium comes with a 72 ft. high by 160 ft. wide monitor hanging over the field.

I can't imagine losing a child. Cartoonists Tom Hart and Leela Corman don't have to imagine. This is the first chapter from Tom's book about it. Every penstroke feels painful--it must have been torture to draw. And reading it was very affecting. I can't say I'm looking forward to reading the whole book, but I don't really think I have a choice. It's a compelling document.

Let's start your crit. Mark Flood's latest outrage. Watch it all the way through.



  1. Best post in weeks!

  2. Really? A post full of links is better than "Road Trip: New Orleans" or "The screed that "Uriel Landeros 'Houston We Have a Problem'" has become" or "Aaron Parazette Keeps You Off Balance" or "On Walden to the bayou, adjacent to the trailer park".

    Jesus. We're going to have to try a lot harder.

  3. Listen, I'm just calling balls and strikes here. Batter up.