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      It's Not Magic

      December 12, 2011
      From the column 'Kill the Engine'


      The four people who read my column might have noticed I was absent last week. I apologize. I was busy watching it rain in Texas and looking at skateboarding on the internet. Hardly blog worthy. So I tried to make up for it this week by getting butt deep into some art stuff.

      This past Friday I was in an art show with Sam Prekop here in Austin at a new space called Tiny Park. It seemed like a good opportunity to work on a sculpture that I'd been wanting to make for a while, since I knew I wouldn't have to worry about shipping it anywhere.


      Painting some wood,


      to make it look more like wood.


      Or at least more like how wood looks when I close my eyes and think about what wood looks like.


      Here's what the sculpture looked like upon completion. It's titled: "Abandoned Ladder To Heaven Sculpture." It's about coming to terms with your limitations, acknowledging your shortcomings, abandoned dreams, etc. Cool stuff like that.


      When I finished my sculpture I took it to the gallery to install it with the rest of my work. I also got to see the other pieces that were in the show. Sam was primarily exhibiting small gauche paintings and drawings.


      Tiny Park is located inside of Brian Willey and Thao Votang's house. During shows they clear all of the furniture out of their space and it becomes a really handsome art zone. I really love it when people decide they're just going to make something happen rather than waiting for some ideal situation to magically materialize. You want to host an art show? Well, all you really need are a few walls and some initiative. It's not magic.


      I don't know how Sam describes his work, but to me it seemed like he's interested in minimal geometric abstraction. Can things be geometric if they have rounded corners?


      Since Tiny Park is a house, there are certain features that have to be addressed when installing work. The room I was showing in had a closet that took up one entire wall. I decided that rather than trying to ignore the closet I was going to draw attention to it and make it part of my installation.


      So I tried to make it look like a closet in my own house.


      And fill it full of my commercial work.


      I wanted it to be convincing enough so that people would think it was an oversight by the gallery and try to close the door. I also wanted to make a statement about the separation of commercial work from fine art while commenting on the fact that (at least in my case) there can never really be a true separation between the two.


      Here are some photos of what the show looked like when everything was ready to go.





      And then the opening happened. I always plan on taking photos of people at openings, but I never really do. Partly because everybody has already seen plenty of photos of people at art shows and partly because I don't like asking people if I can take their pictures. I took a photo of Tim Kerr though because I knew he wouldn't mind.


      And my buddy Shiny Muffins. One of my favorite dudes in my dude crew.


      I also took a picture of this adorable baby.


      This was one of the first nights since I became a dad that I've had the green light to stay out late, so after the show I went to this super secret bar called Winston's and had a beer (2 beers).


      They play some pretty heavy jams there.


      And they have great live entertainment,


      tasty snacks,


      good art,


      and great stickers in their bathroom. Thanks for having me.


      It was a pretty fantastic evening. The only thing I regret is (against my better judgement) asking Sam at the very end of the night if my skateboard company (Roger Skateboards) could use a The Sea and Cake song for the video we're currently working on. He looked annoyed and I looked embarrassed. Amateur moves.


      The next evening there was an opening at Common House, which is a house that some of my friends rent out and have set up as an art studio/exhibition space. This particular show featured work that was created by the artists that have studio space at Common House. Again, I'm stoked that people in Austin are using available space and making things happen. You don't have to have a storefront loft retail space to show artwork. It's probably better if you don't.


      Conner O'Leary. One of my favorite Austin skateboarders, and also one of my favorite Austin painters.


      I love it when skateboarders make art that doesn't look like "skate art." I wish I could say the same thing for my own work, but fortunately since I'm almost 40 I'm grandfathered into this thing.


      Some in-progress pieces in his studio space.


      One of my favorite pieces in the show. Mike Combs.


      Normally I'm pretty much anti any art that incorporates a skateboard, just because I feel like it has been done to death. But I can't deny this thing.


      It was tiled with what I'm guessing is the little pieces of paper that a hole puncher creates when it punches a piece of paper, and then glued one by one to a skateboard like shingles on a house. It was really beautiful up close.


      And the title on the wall sealed the deal. Good job, Mike.


      Will Gaynor.


      I've written about Will's work previously. His stuff is very hard to appreciate in a photo on the internet. There's just so much detail that you really have to see these things in person to appreciate what's going on here. I hope that doesn't alienate my four readers. If it does, then just use it as an excuse to take a road trip to Austin. Just don't come in the summer. Unless you like the physical embodiment of hell.


      Rich Cali. I'm always a sucker for this type of presentation.


      Long time buddy, Adam Mendez.


      Such great texture. And a really nice balance between busy and too busy.


      Alright, movie review time. This week's movie: C.H.U.D.

      In this movie some radioactive sewer mutants eat John Goodman. Which is kind of awesome. Because I've always thought that his neck looked like a delicious smoked ham/brisket. He's a delicious-looking meat person. I'm glad somebody else acknowledged that.

      If you have a suggestion for a movie review, please let me know. There's lots of shitty/awesome movies out there that I'd love to watch. Thoughts?


      Also, if you live in or around Austin, do this on Friday. Or live in a state of regret, your call.

      Previously - Never Forget Dongs





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