Kinda like Zappa, but you wear it, see?

Let’s keep this short and sweet: I think Ludwig Schwarz is best artist in Dallas.
Probably in Texas.
At least of his generation. He wuz robbed in that Texas Prize fiasco the other year. If you don’t know his
work, he paints often crazed pictures and sometimes quiet pictures, writes music to accompany wacked-out
videos about spices, interior decorators, football, and zombies, uses his pets (cat, dog, bird) as muses, and engages in
subversively approachable acts of detournement,
like years ago turning Angstrom gallery into a Rent-A-Center, or sending snapshots to China to be produced as sofa-size oil paintings. He also makes
some mean ribs. Generally, Dallas
doesn’t know what to do with him, though the DMA did finally buy a painting
last year, thanks in part to some reliable representation by Road Agent
gallery
.

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His wife Marjorie is no slouch either, but with absolutely
no desire for your approval, doesn’t show the eclectic products of her home
studio very often. You have to sort of luck out (she volunteers at the zoo, and
just painted a great series depicting every species in the aviary where she’s
been working; and my wife is dying for one of her hand-made purses.) The Schwarz’s
recently collaborated on daily cell-phone videos for a show at the Dallas Contemporary .

I got an email today that they’re having a preview
reception-deal on the Lower East Side in NYC
this week for the jewelry they also co-produce. As the progeny of a jeweler father, Ludwig’s
pieces are the decorative equivalent of the food I recently described at Schwa:
raucous, smart, tough, sophisticated, funny, and like him, totally defiant of
conventional notions of taste. This is not to say they aren’t seductively lust-inducing. In fact, I find them all the more so for the funk-factor. I love
how raw the pieces often seem, resembling complex truffle candies left in your car in
the Texas summer heat – but just made out of gold, pearls, and diamonds instead of
chocolate, cashews, and raisins. The Japanese have a term for this kind of aesthetic: wabi sabi, which translates roughly as the ‘the beauty of the slightly fucked up.’

Check out the Demotionart website , and if you’ve received
that IRS check, count this as a suggestion about where to spend it.

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also by Titus OBrien

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