Puffy Taco Catapult Ain’t No Roman Candle

I’m going through some sort of clumsy phase and there seems every reason to warn folks to avoid my proximity.  However, if you’re looking for me, you can doubtlessly track me down by the trail of blood.  A couple of days back, while cutting up some mangos for a fruit salad, I realized I’d nipped off a hunk of myself from the side of my thumb.  And yesterday, as I was emptying out my laundry basket to sort my clean clothes, I sliced open another region of the same thumb with a razor-sharp protuberance of wicker.  My momma never warned me ’bout this!  So, I guess it’s a good thing that yesterday I wasn’t setting off Jumbo Magnum Poppers, Tijuana Tremors, Howling Hornets, or even the lowly sparkler … or else this sad, lacerated thumb would be little more than a charred stump.

I kept a fairly low profile during the 4th, though I did head over to the Blue Star Art Complex to take in a few shows at some of the galleries.

There was a person wandering around the parking lot in a giant inflatable red suit.  Very festive.  The piece was by Jimmy Kuehnle, I believe.  Perhaps that was him inside.  You could hear the chugging compressor in there with him to keep the thing pumped up.  It must have been pretty hot and sticky surrounded by all that plastic.

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Estevan Arredondo, one of the Creative Capital alumna, had a solo show at the REM Gallery.  Playful, abstracts shapes — rather organic.  Sort of two dimensional amoebas.

Cruz Ortiz had some sort of puffy taco show at the Three Walls Gallery.  The Puffy Taco Plate Company, was the name of the show.  There were simple iconic signs.  And a catapult stood in the middle of the space.  Did if I arrived too late for some puffy tacos?  I do know that I missed objects being flung against a wall by the catapult. Could those objects have been Puffy Tacos?

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The big show at the main gallery was one of the reasons I went last night.  It’s been hyped for months.  David Rubin, the contemporary arts curator over at the San Antonio Museum of Art put this show together.  There were some strong local work.  However, I was absolutely dumbfounded by the transparent vapidness of a few of the pieces.  The truth is, Rubin has only been in San Antonio since 2006 — give him a few more years and he’ll surely encounter a wider range of local artists.

I was pleased to see Luis Valderas’ excellent video piece he projected in front of the Alamo for the Luminaria Arts Night earlier in the year.  There was also huge, stunning photo by Ansen Seale, using a camera he created that uses some sort of pixel-tracking technology that allows moving images to appear still, while still images appear in motion.  That’s a bad paraphrase of how he described it.  His photos are fascinating, beautiful creations.

I was grooving to George and Catherine Cisneros’ installation that was one part vertigo and three parts nostalgia (I need to go back and enjoy it more without the noisy crowds — the important audio component was sadly drowned out last night) … anyway, I was pulled from a slight hypnotic trance by the applause from the next room over.  It was for some dancers from the Modacolab Dance Company.  I rounded the corner just as Amber Ortega-Perez was hurrying by.  I asked if there were any more dance performances.  She said there was one more, a piece she choreographer.  I followed the crowd to the far side of the gallery and watched the final dance piece of the night.  Very well done.

All in all, a great show.  It’s up through August 17th.  Make sure you visit the last gallery room to see a separate solo show of Alex Rubio’s fiercely colorful paintings — his stuff helps to wash away some of the more precious trifles of the larger group show.

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Earlier in the afternoon I met with Patty Delgado, a writer for the San Antonio Current.  Actually, she’s an intern, working during her summer break from NYU.  She’s managed to muscle her way into writing — no making coffee and reloading electric staplers for her.  What is it about the San Antonio Current lately?  It’s being taken over by very young, super-cute, brainy women.  (This is, indeed, a good thing, as I’d rather Ashley Lindstrom tell me how she made a Betty Crocker berries-and-cream pie than to be subjected to another of Ron Bechtol’s gassy and elevated excursions wherein he places himself center stage amongst the shitaki and calamari set.)

If you’ve picked up the current Current (the “summer guide” edition), you’ve already seen Patty.  She’s the model on the cover, holding a vente copy of Mao and a big wedge of watermelon.  We talked about the Josiah Youth Media Festival.  I gave her some contact info for a few of the local teen filmmakers whose works will be screened this coming Thursday, Friday, and Saturday.  And god knows what nonsense of mine was picked up by her recording device.  I guess I’ll have to wait until Wednesday to see if I come off like an ass.

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