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The Bad & The Beautiful — our
ersatz Haute Cliffe petite art tour
Pilgrims on our quest to discover high and low art up and down the river, we visited The (official, high budget) Latino (flashy colors, spatial medium cool architecture, pseudo adobe walls, but my gosh it was expensive cold in there, and we finally got on their press list) Culture Center del Norte, as well as the real Latino culture center Sur del Trinidad, The Ice House, and a couple other art places including Mighty Fine Arts — on our own late summer ersatz Haute Cliffe petite art tour.
Mulcahy Modern was closed and radiating heat. Decorazon was plenty cold inside but tres classic Euro kitch, and Artisans was cold, too, but so crammed with jangles of vivid color and artsy gift shapes I had to wait outside in the torrid sun and watch them change tires at the Honduras Tire Shop, before we finally settled into lunch at the original Gloria's across the other street.
Mighty Fine Art wasn't nearly as AC chill, but the art was way cooler and the ambiance mellow. Bad & Beautiful (which I keep remembering as Bad Girls, more a title de the other 500X grad indie gallery, Plush) is a show whose title ...
is more than lived up to by Arlington artist Harmony Padgett (an area newcomer whose gouged, stained and polychromed plywood figures awed us both), ...
Tina Medina (extending her wickedly direct sense of humor long honed at the X)'s scribblish noir notebook page drawing of red-spotted puffy cotton floating, that I first thought might be some exotic orchid; and several suggestive finger drawings by Rosemary Meza, along with work by Polly Perez, Veronica de Anda and Shelby Cunningham at MFA through September 17.
Next stop was the Ice House Cultural Center, the considerably less well (City) funded, Oak Cliff multi art space whose juried show and funky space truly represents its geographic place. It was plenty cool in there, too, and the art was surprising.
The show, Sur de Trinidad featured a variety of talented Dallas artists who live, work or studio south of our illustrious river. Our major discovery there were three mixed media drawings by Jose "Joey" Chabola 3, but there were interesting pieces by a variety of artists juried into the show.
We especially liked Angelita Rodriguez' hand-colored photograph Wonderful Dream of a little girl in a long white dress on a blurred background with both fists rubbing her eyes as if sobbing, and this stark, untitled portrait by Natalie Tate Pullen.
I shot the colorful curtains keeping the hot sun out of the break room and boxes that looked like art of the art for the next show, Mis Homies, The Art of Gaspar Enriquez. The Sur show closed August 25.
The official Latino Culture Center near downtown bears about as much community art load as the Nasher Sculpture Garden does, both depending heavily upon BTAGfOoT (big time art guys from out of town) for their artistic presence.
A bloated Botero had completed its year-long sojurn earlier this summer. Now a couple of large sculptures by the late San Antonio artist Luis Jimenez make something of the expansive exterior sculpture garden spaces, while a juried show of mostly Anglo artists who hecho their work en Dallas, sparingly filled the yellowish walls of the only gallery we found containing an actual exhibition, though there were individual instances of the stuff scattered through the building.
To mention with special grace Celia Muños' color transing dome installation above the small theatre down the exterior hall, that we watched through several red, yellow, blue and green cycles. It's been there years, but I only now have wide enough angle a lens to capture this beautiful and captivating piece in toto.