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Quick Visits #1

Mighty Fine Arts + Gray Matters

Soft: Ice Cream Bars & Textures

Welcome to Oak Cliff - Iris Bustillos at Mighty Fine Arts through June 19

So taken by the show, especially Iris’ photo series with subtly changing ice cream bars and the Paletas Frutitas’s saddlebag full of the same treats, when we left MFA we made our way to Oak Cliff's landmark Aunt Stelle's for snowcones. Last time I was there was 40 years ago. Nice to be back.

MFA is always a good look, hence their prize in our 2004 Best Of Dallas Art. I'm nurturing a growing affection there for an inside corner wall, on the back right. I've photographed it before and did again last Satty.

What I like about it is the edgish textural consistency of Wade Carter's paintings, though the flowers and Jesus head add to the diversity.

Kinda a rough soft with muted colors, reminds me a little of Tom Sime's wax art. For all its flatness, there's more, nearly glowing dimension beneath. The raw blend of color may be of this century, or very late last.

Subjects are likewise raw, unprocessed. The unsophisticated stuff of kid's drawings. A jet boom-booming, a rubbed out recipe, a naively rendered, comix-like, red naked lady in bannered ART SLUT all-caps.




Toys & Games & Dallas' Best Art Book Store?

Better Than New! - Randy Bolton & Randy Regier at Gray Matters through June 19

Randy Regier - Space Dingus (Super Future Taxi)

Hadn't been to Gray Matters in awhile. Was afraid if I went I'd see something I'd have to write about, which of course is what happened. Some places just aren't safe for an art critly curmudgeon.

Like any good show where Gray Matters, this one is mostly fun with little tweaks of dark twisted in. One room is Randy Bolton's very large blow-ups of color pages from early children's stories, which lend a certain atmosphere without saying very much really.

But it is Randy Regier's toys (handmade assemblage with handmade boxes — I thought they were real.), run amok, mixing pathos, bathos and beyond, that make this show.

In one open container, lies a way more than bi-, multi-wing plane like we've seen disintegrate in Early Aircraft Designs That Failed Satty morning TV. Outside that long narrow box, a small plastic cop watches two small plastic ambulance guys cart off the small plastic pilot. Toys toying with our minds.


Nearby, a one-two punch — The goofily nostalgic mixed message un-PC 50s book cover, The Transformed Red Man — Indian Christians In The Work. Then this:

Randy Regier - New Red Man

And what can I say, I'm a sucker for Jesus Art, wherever we find Him, this time in a fast red Mid-Century stick-shift roadster, looking at least as surprised as any of us to find Himself there.

Randy Regier - The Christ of the American Road

Then, thinking to ease my eyes, I headed into what used to be The Red Room, a quiet little shop, and what we find instead is perhaps The Best Art Book Shop in Town — plenty variety, lots of possibilities, the profane, the insane and lots of edgy art all along the way. Straight stuff, too, but wow.


One of DARE's founding purposes, before its lepidopteran purpose devolved into The MAC caterpillar, was an art book store. That Contemp still has its book nook, but the entrepreneurial spirit has again trumped the hybrid nonprofit.

And this is just one wall

If anybody knows of a better Art Book Store hereabouts, let me know. Please. Right now I'm wanting to start this year's Best Of page with just this one entry. —JRC


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