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Short Commentary & Reviews of Dallas Art
by Dallas Artists & Writers

I E-mailed AM about his inclusion in J R's Collection, a new story about my personal art collection, and he responded:

Thank you for the lovely surprise! I enjoyed reading about your collection and the experience that the works facilitate. To me, this is the true "beauty" in art. Beauty has less to do with how things look. There is only one beauty that does not fade... it is the beauty of the process. It is the same for all of time... across all barriers of race, religion and creed. A beautiful event... in any language.

Nice site! Hope all is well in JRland!

AM 02/18/01


J R,

Who thinks this stuff up?

Just returned from two weeks in Berlin where it was 34 degrees with snow and drizzle most days. In spite of the weather, the incredible transport system took me everywhere. Saw a lot of 'hot art' that looked like documentary photos and videos. I wonder about ART. Sometimes I wonder where it's going. Other times I wonder where it's gone. Oh well..lots of new architecture to look at. Some of ART has gone there.

TJ 02/08/01

My art is about me. You see I have these deep emotional feelings, and although I don't make my art with my hands, the ideas and emotions are mine and that is the essence of what I am expressing and I pay people to do the grunt work so that my hands can be clean when I shake the hand of the collector who writes me the six figure check my work demands.   
When you look at my art you might not understand its deep inner spirituality, but that's okay, since I will explain it to you, and then you will see how godlike my talent is, and the money you give me will feel like tithing in church, and you will feel cleansed and thank me and my dealer who pours the blessed free wine.

text and illustration © 2000 by Liz Wagner
6 14 00


n reply to my favorite art philosopher after he'd submitted his self portrait into the DARts Self Portrait Show, I asked if I'd presented his SP correctly. This is his response:

I have no idea how it should look or I would have made it that way. I am a process sorta guy. And you are part of this process... you started it and the degree to which you engaged yourself is absolutely the right amount!

It could never be otherwise. I am more interested in being taken into unfamiliar territory that I am in stylizing paintings or sculpture. I love the Zen saying, "the beginner has infinite possibilities and the authority only a few."

The more I make art the more I realize how unnecessary it is. Things I make were and are just piling up. There is no market. The people in the art community treat you pretty much like shit so what was the question???

All I can tell you is that art brings me great joy every day. In the most unlikely places and at any time. One of the things that I love about motorcycling is that it takes me places where people who feel compelled will speak to me. Some talk of times past. Some of times to come. And others of fear and trepidation.

None of it can be planned. It unfolds like a great work of art. And the joy for the artist is that we can bathe in this experience. Realizing that this is unique, and it is rare when your muse speaks and it all makes sense... and suddenly it could be no other way!

Thanks for asking me to participate. I'm sure any competent therapist would have a field day with my self portrait, eh?




Notes from Central Texas (& NY)

from former Oak Cliff sculptor TJ Mabrey

".... While [in New York], we drove to North Adams, Mass to see the new MASS oCA( Museum). Great spaces. Indoors and out. Speaking of doors - they are having a call for artists to enter a new exhibit for their childrens area. Called - OPEN AND SHUT: ARTISTS' DOORS. Deadline for entry is July 15th. Molly Polk, Coordinator, Kidspace @MASS MoCA. The current exhibit is UN-NATURAL SCIENCE. Very good!!

Then back to HOT Texas where new museums are being built as ART. Old story. I just read about it in the Sept.'99 ish of Texas Monthly. Seems museums are changing. Many new ones have no collection, just the building which is ART. Up-scale community centers. That's okay. Waco will get a new one soon.

I spent about four days carving words on large boulders. I recorded the date 21 June 2000 - the summer solstice and also the date we planted a Carpathian Nut tree - among other things.

6 26 00

The Role of the Artist

by A.M. Hudson

It was funny when you said something about "witnessing" (for lack of a better word) some of my latest art. It really got me thinking about the most artful things I have seen or experienced of late. It's mostly been on the road. Experiences that involve all of my senses. I can't begin to translate those experiences into presentable art.

I have often marveled at the art business. People who make things to inspire / reassure / motivate / decorate or whatever you want to call it. Why can't people do this themselves? What a weird business.

If I am successful as an artist, people will realize that art is everywhere and that they don't need me as an artist. I not only appreciate what is there but I appreciate the space as well... there is so little of it in our urban lives. There are few things as beautiful as a blank wall!

6 3 00  

Doug MacWithey
at Barry Whistler Gallery

by Stuart Kraft

One of the finest exercises of postmodern sensibilities between the objects and exploded text of Doug's new materials and Barry's elegant installation. I had difficulty finding the seam where the art would end and the walls and ceiling began. The construct is the whole art, a rare moment of beauty and harmony, the pleasure they had working together is evident.

4 15 00

Art Shirer & Sherry Owens

by A.M. Hudson

Elaine had some vacation so we took a ride out to Connemara last week. When we got to Connemara it was around lunch time. The gates were closed and I just had that sinking feeling that I was in the wrong place. The usual haphazard approach that I associate with art and volunteerism was everywhere. I guess I was annoyed from the get-go.

Man, I suppose I truly am a curmudgeon cause it just didn't work for me. I've never been there before and I was shocked that it actually bothered me. I thought the art looked crappy and the rock piece just left me wondering. I think the further I get from the art community the more silly it looks!

4 15 00

Untitled by Valton Tyler, 1995, oil on canvas, 24 x 78",
private collection,
courtesy Valley House Gallery

Valton Tyler at the
McKinney Avenue Contemporary

by Michael Helsem

Not every repeating is obsession. A roomful of these gloom-ridden spiky enigmas tends to temper the shock of a singular; in a group show a standout, here we suspect rhetoric.

The visual equivalent of some minor Lovecraftian who ends every story with: "Those slimy, horrible tenta — eeygk!!!" Only when he deigns to incorporate a few wry Texanish icons (cowboy boots, a longhorn skull) does he achieve, after all, the authenticity of a nouveau frisson — the despair of a dreamless Giger marooned in Mesquite.


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