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Gallery Unknown and Canal Street Gallery

DISCLAIMER:  Once again, I have used a lot of words (including a back assward type of pigeon Spanish) and said absolutely nothing, which can be easily explained by the fact that long ago my keyboard became inhabited by a long-winded idiot demon.

A Gallery Whose Name I Failed to Write Down and Canal Street Gallery

This weekend I went to two galleries, although one of these visits was unintentional, and wasn’t what you would call a visit in the strictest sense of the word, since the place I really intended to visit was a little place I like to call “sale de bain” when I am being especially pretentious
To begin this misadventure properly, I had inadvertently walked rather than driven the three some odd miles to the Downtown Texas State Optical (located in the beautiful Esperson building at Walker and Milam) to pick up my new glasses, and not unlike Mr. McGoo, kept thinking that eventually I would find my car at the end of what seemed like a ridiculously long driveway, but never did.

When I arrived at TSO, I asked for the key to the restroom, which coincidentally was an additional three miles away (the restroom, not the key).  This trip was rendered wholly unnecessary, for by mile two I suddenly remembered, much to my warm relief, the now full catheter bag strapped to my left leg.  Turning on my other heel, I sprinted back to the optometrist shop (a neat trick considering the bag), but was halted in my tracks when I noticed a small gallery located next door to a snack bar called The Jury’s Out to Lunch. 


At the time I had neither pen nor camera nor Life Hammer, and so could not write down the name of the space or break in to get one of their cards.  However I did mentally note the name of the exhibit, 8 Seconds, as well as the art within the gallery, which was of the Charlie Russell/ Frederick Remington Bucking Bronco kind.  Initially I thought the title referred to the length of time the average Joe spends looking at art, but after an equal amount of research, discovered 8 seconds is how long a rider must stay on a bronco in order to qualify for competition.
I suppose I could drive back to the building and write down the name, but its so much nicer sitting here in my pajamas, dripping jam down my chin.

The evening before this fortuitous find, I dropped by to see my old friend Armando Rodriguez ’s show, Viva La Vida or La Muerte No Anda En Coche Pero Requiere El Uso De Un Chofér (October 30 – November 28, 2009), now featured at Canal Street Gallery, located on the edge of Downtown.  

The exhibition title loosely translates to Death Does Not Drive A Car, But Employs The Use Of A Curmudgeonly, Yet Loyal Chauffeur, and is taken from the Telemundo series of the same name, which explores the crazy dynamic between Death and his numerous domestic servants.  Each of the portraits created by Rodriguez is based on a character from Death Does Not Etc., beginning (left to right) with the affable butler Ellis all the way down to the slatternly scullery maid Twickery and her side kick Pippi, now deceased.

When you visit Canal Street Gallery, you will also be able to see a number of very moving ofrenda created by the artist, his wife, and others in honor of Dia De Los Muertos and those in their lives who have passed on to the other world. Also on view are the remains of a Turkey Molé, which Armando himself prepared for the opening night.  
The artist, a native of Mexico, has this to say, “I left the scraps of molé out after the opening to further serve as a reminder of death. In Mexico, the very act of death and its subsequent smells becomes a celebration of lifeDeath is everywhere, so you have to stop worrying about it.  For example, take the case of how I acquired the suit I wore that evening.  It was intended for a corpse at a funeral, and in fact that is where I found it   I remarked to the widow “He doesn’t really need this, does he?  Don’t you think it would look better on me?” and fortunately she was in full agreement.  I celebrated the man’s death by getting this great suit, and she in turn celebrated by getting to see him naked one last time.”  Pointing to the rear of his pants he said “Since these slacks were intended for a dead man in a casket, you will observe, they has no backside .” 

Heed his words, see his work, and avert your eyes as he turns to walk away.

Next week The Joanna, the following week I decimate the work of Beth Secor, on view at Inman Gallery.


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