Aldo Chaparro: MORE THAN THIS
Gallery Sonja Roesch
September 18 – October 30, 2010
If I had an extra $1500 bucks lying around, I’d totally buy Aldo Chaparro’s little silver plated sculpture Puta, (2010). It’s a wicked, smartass riff on Robert Indiana’s sappy “LOVE” sculpture. LOVE was originally designed as a MOMA Christmas card. I’m thinking PUTA’s greeting card potential is limited.
MORE THAN THIS is the first Houston show for the Mexico City-based Chaparro and much of the work on view uses light. Pink Spider Web, (2010) is pretty great. Made from an irregular network of hot pink electric luminescent cable, it’s supposed to be amazing in the dark. Although it’s looser and wonkier, it kind of reminds me of Houston artist Harvey Bott’s low-tech yarn and black light installations. Among other glowing works is a collection of “light drawings.” As far as I can tell, they are permanent marker drawings on little LED screens. I love that Chaparro treats the screens like scratch paper. It’s a really nice show; let’s hope Chaparro is back soon.
Dias and Reidweg: Peñas de pena
September 9 – October 30, 2010
At Sicardi Gallery, the collaborative of duo Dias and Reidweg has a whole installation about flamenco culture with photos of Andalusian flamenco clubs and videos of singers. The centerpiece is a video of Antonio Agujetas, the son of the famous flamenco singer Manoel Agujeta. Antonio tells his story and sings in a voice that reflects the hardship and tragedy of his life. His father abandoned the family. Antonio’s mother and four of his seven surviving siblings were deaf and mute. Antonio worked to support the family, fell into drugs and alcohol and wound up in jail and HIV positive. The video is riveting, you see a 47-year-old man looking seedy and far older than his years, but at the same time you see a child longing for the love and support of an indifferent father. A video diptych shows revered flamenco singers performing around a table. Their voices are wonderful but in their video none of them evoke the kind of raw emotion that the damaged and flawed Antonio does.
Aaron McIntosh: Adam4Adam & Other Boyfriends
Philomena Gabriel Contemporary
October 15 – November 6, 2010
Aaron McIntosh’s just-opened show at Philomena Gabriel is witty and poignant. Mackintosh has taken heterosexual romance novel covers and excised the female protagonists, leaving the man embracing an unknown partner. You can mentally insert one of either sex. In other works he’s created readymade boyfriends. McIntosh has taken his shirts and ironed an image on each one of a guy with his arm out to embrace him. Curated by Anna Walker, curatorial fellow at the Houston Center for Contemporary Craft, it’s great stuff.
Perspectives 172: Kirsten Pieroth
Contemporary Arts Museum Houston
October 1 – January 2, 2011
I loved this piece in Kirsten Pieroth’s Perspectives exhibition at the CAMH. She’s boiled The New York Times down, as if she were making stock from the information. It’s preserved and ready for consumption.