Leavin' on a Jet Plane

I meant to get this up yesterday, but I had a few technical difficulties...

I’m writing this as I’m en route to Houston. If you haven’t been then I’d highly recommend it. Houston is a large city that almost feels like a separate country. But be prepared, people do actually wear cowboy boots, say “howdy”, and the Texas state flag seems to magically appear on absolutely everything. Oddly, the phrase “y’all” doesn’t seem to be too frequently used—which is really weird, at least to this southern east-coaster.

Since everything is about to turn into a whirlwind, or a tumble weed, or a dust storm, or whatever they have out there; I figured that it might be fun to fill you in on some of the amazing art and culture related things that I’m planning on doing.
First on the agenda are several art museums. Due to my recent interest in Dash Snow, I am trying to make a point of to the Menil Museum, http://www.menil.org/. I just realized that they’re doing a Claes Oldenburg and Coosje van Bruggen drawing exhibit, which feels a little like a personal pilgrimage to honor the late van Bruggen. After reading a particularly flattering article about her work and life, I felt as though I would one day like to be remembered the same way, http://www.latimes.com/news/obituaries/la-me-vanbruggen13-2009jan13,0,4188739.story. In reality, I’ll probably be remembered for my fabulous shoes, but that doesn’t mean that I can’t acknowledge that van Bruggen was a truly brilliant scholar.

Maybe while I’m in that neck of the woods I might also be tempted to visit the Rothko Chapel, since it is one of the most serene and all-encompassing places I have ever been. I once read a book about the emotional component of art that mentioned the chapel. In the book there were several stories about people being oddly moved by the paintings and the structure. Ever since I read about that I’ve fully expected people to erupt into inconsolable sobs the moment they cross the threshold. So far I haven’t witnessed any emotional uproar, but I’m patiently waiting.

Tonight I’m planning on attending a gallery talk for the North Looks South exhibit at the MFAH, http://www.mfah.org/exhibition.asppar1=1&par2=1&par3=624&par4=1&par5=1&par6=1&par7=&lgc=4&eid=&currentPage=. This should be interesting for two reasons. First, I tend to be a bit of a snob when it comes to docents. I’ll let you know how well they do. So far the only docents that have consistently impressed me were at MOMA. But then again, just about everything impresses me at MOMA. Even the food at MOMA is superior. Incidentally, I recommend the Heirloom Tomato and Gorgonzola Salad if you’re ever there, it’s delish! Second, I have an incredibly keen interest in Latin American Contemporary art. The MFAH is trying to build a collection as we speak, and I actually think that it is really going to help increase focus on the region.

At some point I also hope to go to a local store that specializes in Mexican folk art called Las Manos Magicas, http://www.lasmanosmagicas.com/. I’m eager to see how Houstonian folk art compares with the folk art that I’ve bought and seen at Olvera Street in Los Angeles, http://www.olvera-street.com/. I’m also excited to fuel my skeleton/Halloween obsession with some decorative Dia De Los Muertos artifacts. How cool is it that Latin America has a Day of the Dead?

Last, I’m hoping to get in a gallery visit or two. So far there have been few contemporary galleries that I’ve seen in Houston that seem particularly interested in, but I’m trying to stay open to suggestions.