Showmen at Brand 10 Art Space

Tom Orr, "Leo, how are we going to beat the Russians?" mixed media, 2012

The group show up at Brand 10 Art Space in Fort Worth through April 28, called Showmen, with work by artists Tim Best, Titus O’Brien, Tom Orr and Cameron Schoepp, walks an elegant line between merriment and confusion, with political undertones masked in saccharine sweetness. Loaded metaphors strut boldly through the show like brave men in tights.

Tom Orr’s installation on the front wall of the gallery, called “Leo, how are we going to beat the Russians?,”* shields a bank of troublesome windows while using the natural light to play through the varied plastics and fabrics that he has propped and rigged along the wall. Like most of Orr’s work, the installation here is a visual play of patterns and textures that fool the science of your eye into trusting surfaces that are full of trickery. A translucent corrugated plastic sheet set atop vertically black and white striped fabric creates faux space — a fuzzy, drunken place in your brain that your eyes struggle to free into clarity. Mirror tiles and sheets of mirror play the room back to itself in fractured notes, throwing light and making shadows, which allows the piece to operate the room with a passive kind of power.

Cam Schoepp, Bench/Place (Yellow, Green, Orange), carpet, wood, paint, 2012

Cam Schoepp, Bench/Place (Orange, Pink, White), carpet, wood, paint, 2012

Cam Schoepp’s beautiful wood and carpet sculptures, Bench/Place (Yellow, Green, Orange) and Bench/Place (Orange, Pink, White), set in the center of the gallery, take up the radiating energy of Orr’s work while creating their own sort of confusion. The wooden slab “benches” sit atop gorgeous handmade carpets with ripple motifs that wave out from the contact points of the benches. Given their setting here in the gallery, and given the buttery-perfect surface of the carpets, a viewer isn’t sure if one is allowed to step onto the carpets and venture a seat on a bench, so one doesn’t. I skirted well around the sculptures, resisting the urge to roll all over the rugs as if they were pools of taffy in Willy Wonka’s factory. And the benches, too, have an energy about them that beckons — interior painting between the wood slabs casts up color-glows of red and yellow — but the carpets act as a kind of visual fence around the benches, at once inviting and casting away, making the benches untouchable islands. The whole sculptural unit — bench and carpet — maintains a pristine isolation.

Titus O' Brien, Avatamsaka IV, acrylic on Belgian linen, 2012

The two paintings by Titus O’Brien, Avatamsaka III and Avatamsaka IV, are montages of fractured architecture, fabric and shadow, full of Futurist era energy and exactitude. For all their jumbled, virile imagery, the paintings have this discerning, impeccable feeling — like consciously tousled hair or a perfectly rumpled linen jacket. They made me think of Kim Jong Il or Putin on holiday, manically sipping good champagne.

Tim Best, That Which is Given, Fuji Chrystal archive print, 2011

Tim Best’s photographs of empty candy wrappers  in outstretched hands, floating in a bath with the clothed artist, and in the open mouth of a woman, all from his series “Stuff,”  tease out the notions carried by the other three artists of decadent power — they’re not so much about consumption as the lack of need for it, a true decadence untouched by trivial necessity. There’s also the suggestion that powerful offers of delight and provision are usually empty.

In a video by Best called Megalomaniac, the camera  traverses the vacant halls of an antiseptic hospital while famous quotes about war and fighting are dramatically read by the artist. Footsteps echo down the halls throughout the film, with the intermittent sound of helicopter propellers. Certainly more overt about ideas of power and control then the rest of the work in Showmen,  Megolomaniac serves as emphatic punctuation at end of a thoughtful and incredibly deft show about those themes.

 

*As an anecdotal aside that bears mentioning, when I asked Orr about the title “Leo, how are we going to beat the Russians?” he said this: “The title comes from a greeting I got every morning from an old man I worked with at my uncle’s salvage company in the 1970’s: ‘Tommy boy, how are we going to beat the Russians?’ He was convinced that the Russians had beaten us in the space race with SPUTNIK in 1957 and that this might explain why the summers were so much hotter now. I heard this statement so much over the years that it became sort of comforting to me in an odd way. It was a strange way to start our morning conversation, but his question always seemed sincere and caring. Over the years I have used this same phrase in different situations. Now that I’m older, it’s the first thing that I say to my dog (Leo) every morning. The short explanation of the title— It’s about SPUTNIK, an old man and my dog.”

photos courtesy Brand 10, Cam Schoepp, Titus O’Brien and Tim Best.

also by Lucia Simek

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19 responses to “Showmen at Brand 10 Art Space”

  1. So well written that all of us will see these works anew. Many thanks for such a thoughtful article. Kathy Webster and the brand 10 group.

  2. Thanks to Lucia for a snappy, generous review of our show.

    In a weekly promotional email blast, Glasstire was likewise kind enough to prominently feature Lucia’s review. However, they labeled that review “Four White Dudes” prompting this note back from me:

    “Dear friends at Glasstire-

    So while I appreciate the mention of our show at Brand 10, I can’t help but wonder if you would substitute as the title for any other show show “5 black dudes” or “3 Asian chicks” or “2 red folks”. While the show (whose title I neither had anything to do with or especially care for) implicates our gender, it doesn’t indicate our race, and I find your delineating it at best somewhat distasteful.
    Sincerely-
    Titus O’Brien”

    Kelly Klassmeyer was nice enough to respond:

    “Hey Titus,

    Congrats on your show. I didn’t write the headline but I don’t think referencing the white male hegemony that exists in the art world, even at alternative spaces, is out of line. Seriously, It’s a real and ongoing problem in the art world and people forget about it, especially in terms of women. I just wrote about the CAMH which had like 9 solo shows for men last year, no women. They are a well-meaning liberal institution and they haven’t given a woman a solo show in the upstairs gallery since 2007. It’s pretty scary to think that people on our same side of the political spectrum unintentionally exclude women to that degree – then there are all the right wingers actively working to exclude women.

    Best,
    Kelly”

    My response:

    “Hi Kelly-
    thanks for taking the time to respond.

    You say “I don’t think referencing the white male hegemony that exists in the art world, even at alternative spaces, is out of line.”

    Is that what that was? Because it read to me, and the class of 30 18-25 year old whip-smart art students at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago –

    who come from around the world and are mostly women, who by chance had just finished a discussion of Rosalind Krauss and feminism that I led in my class, to whom I presented the material without mentioning my own involvement in the show to more objectively gauge their take –

    as a weird, passive aggressive dig at a target that didn’t apparently deserve it. They’re general immediate take: furrowed brows, “whats?” and “that’s pretty uncools”…

    I am not the patriarchy. Nor is Tim, Tom, or Cam. We are four hard working, in fact seriously underrepresented artists struggling to make our work, and ends meet, in a creative climate that is in fact to mine and many others (of all genders/races) estimation is quite rightfully radically shifting toward much greater inclusion of artists of all backgrounds. I am sorry if your local museum is failing to achieve parity. I haven’t shown there, nor to my knowledge have the other artists in the show.

    There is a discussion to be had about race and gender in the culture generally [and in the art world specifically]. You didn’t have or invite one. You took a well-written, positive review, and tagged it with a title that has nothing to do with that review, and does not represent the position of its author. You defend it now as a valid editorial commentary on patriarchy and gender disparity? Seriously? It read to me as nothing more than a cheap shot, trampling on a topic that deserves much greater sensitivity, and toward four *human beings* to whom diminishing labels are not any less insensitive because we may happen to share the race and gender of a group you deem needs taking down a notch.

    Best wishes-
    Titus”

  3. Kelly then wrote:

    “Titus, I didn’t write it and it’s not something I would have written but I’m amused that you are trying to co-op the exclusion and oppression of the non white male community.”

    Response:

    “Hi Kelly-

    So happy I can amuse you today.

    I’m likewise “amused” (bemused would be more honest) that you defend language that I’m confident you would decry in any other context as unacceptable because it happens in this instance to refer to 4 people that you don’t feel deserve basic professional respect because of their gender and a presumed racial identity – and with the artists, I would include the writer of that review, who doesn’t as your (by which I mean Glasstire, with you as editor and now defender of the) title implies, take on any issues of race or gender, in which case such a sobriquet might be warranted.

    So to me your response is yet another blithe, clever pass (which is where we started), failing I think again to actually realize that it doesn’t matter who is being referred to – the language should be appropriate to the context, and respectful of everyone.

    Bashing individual “white men” (so-called) doesn’t ever help the cause of any other group, of any color, of any gender, of any sexual orientation.

    I’m not “trying to co-opt” anything.

    I’m would only ever ask for myself or anyone else the basic human dignity that everybody in the world wants; basic respect and dignity that the use of this label in this instance you seem to readily admit doesn’t grant, and in fact intentionally undermines – apparently in keeping with an implied standing editorial policy or stance?

    Well, stay cute, Glasstire. Stay blithe. I still appreciate the review in any case.

    Cheers-
    T.
    ————-

    I’d just go on to say that I am an absolute, staunch, ardent feminist myself, one whose list of favorite artists is dominated by women, a list that would include my wife, who is likely a better artist than me. My own cherished teachers, friends, colleagues, and family include human beings of every possible ethnicity, gender identity, and sexual orientation; it’s time to recognize that blunt box descriptors for anyone often aren’t helpful, especially when they are used to undermine or dismiss without respect to particular individuals or the circumstances in which they are being considered.

    Again, as at the start, I would just say that I doubt anyone at Glasstire likely would have said “Four Black Dudes”, “Four Yellow Dudes,” “Four Red Dudes”, or “Four Brown Dudes” when talking about any other show under similar circumstances. I don’t see how using “Four White Dudes” is any way different in kind, or in any way helpful to anybody.

    1. And to complete the tedious sharing of email…

      “Titus,
      I’m really sorry if you are offended. That is not the intent, the headline is not an agenda against you or any of the artists in the show. Glasstire is not trying to deny you basic human dignity. It looks like a good show, it was a positive review. I’m dealing with my three-year-old who has double pneumonia right now so I hope you will forgive me if my responses have not been as thoughtful as you would like.

      I would encourage you to post in the comment section of the blog post. That is probably the best way for you to get your protest on the record.

      Best,
      Kelly”

      to which Titus replied…

      “Sorry you’re kid is sick – may s/he be well soon.

      This is no big protest. I simply and succinctly called GT on something, and you responded by defending what i think is an indefensible gaff. I just hope you’ll consider a little bit more how that label was clearly dismissive, you along with everyone else I’ve talked to understood it as such, and you defended as such, saying in essence ‘well, white men deserve it.’ Your email here is likewise a little patronizing, the irony of which is not lost on me. I know the review is good, and said so. I appreciate the press. I didn’t, and don’t like the ‘Four White Dudes” thing. It was wrong to print. You shouldn’t have defended it.

      Please take care of your little one, and yourself.

      Best-
      Titus”

  4. “Tedious”? Well, you’re consistent, I’ll give you that. I appreciate your finishing off the exchange though.

  5. You are the patriarchy, and the fact that you don’t see that is a huge part of the problem. You are operating out of privilege that others don’t have access to. You can’t change that, but you can at least recognize it. You say you’re struggling and underrepresented – I don’t doubt that. I also don’t doubt that you haven’t personally or specifically oppressed anyone lately, or even would if given the opportunity – something I choose to believe even without the “Hey, some of my favorite artists are women” and “I know a lot of different kinds of people” defenses of yourself that you offer. But your struggle doesn’t match the struggle of artists who aren’t straight, white, and male. You’ve had it easier from the beginning. You say:

    “Again, as at the start, I would just say that I doubt anyone at Glasstire likely would have said ‘Four Black Dudes’, ‘Four Yellow Dudes,’ ‘Four Red Dudes’, or ‘Four Brown Dudes’ when talking about any other show under similar circumstances. I don’t see how using “Four White Dudes” is any way different in kind, or in any way helpful to anybody.”

    Well it is different. Completely different. White dudes, in this culture and context, are historically the oppressors and the perpetrators of discrimination. Black, Yellow, and Red dudes are not. White dudes are the beneficiaries of tremendous privilege. Black, Yellow, and Red dudes are not, and neither are females or people who would rather not be called Dudes or Ladies. Saying “Four White Dudes” calls attention privilege where it exists and, by extension, speaks up for inclusion.

    It looks like this point wasn’t presented in an appropriately elucidated way, but it is good that someone is drawing attention to disparity, even if it is through a seemingly flippant headline. You mention in your defense a “radical” shift toward inclusion. Incremental (woefully slow and painful, and from many points of view in fact not at all radical) improvement doesn’t negate present injustice. Your show shouldn’t bear the brunt of the criticism, but when it’s pointed out to you that you’re benefiting from privilege in ways that preclude the advancement of others don’t say “not me, not my injustice, not my problem. not fair. leave me alone.” Say “Yes – this situation isn’t right. What can we do about it?”

    Your criticism of blunt box categories is especially troubling, not because blunt box categories are wonderful helpful things (I believe they are, in fact, evils that are sometimes necessary). It is troubling because any time someone from the unmarked categories (straight/white/male) says – Hey, don’t mark me, don’t point out what I am, don’t put me in a box – it sounds to those of us who have been marked by categories all our lives (and most often marked by straight white males in positions of power over us) like another exercise of power that denies its existence even as it works against us. It sounds like “Can’t we all just get along while I benefit from both institutionalized and latent discrimination over here?” You want to set the terms under which you are identified, but you will always speak from a place of privilege, and when someone suddenly says so and places you in a marked category you get upset.

    Was the headline helpful in illuminating these issues or starting a critical dialogue? No, not really. But perhaps your response was, because it demonstrates just how much education is still needed.

  6. After all, who are we behind our eyes? Some, Angels. Some, Archangels. Some, former slaves in previous lives. Some, unicorns. Some, blacksmiths. Some, Pleidians. Some of us even partake in identity issues. One time, I was the only non-african american at an african american based protest. One time, I was chased by a group of fully outfitted Ku Klux Klan members. From my experience, Tom is not a white dude. He is a star fleet commander of an intergalactic parade. He associates himself with high technology and recognizes others who partake in ranch style beans.

  7. @Practicepraxis:
    thanks for your comments.

    My general take is that I don’t really want to play the Norman Mailer, a role you seem to want to cast me in, to the Germaine Greer seem to want to see yourself as. That’s one ever-losing battle. Even as I wrote the line “I am not the patriarchy” I quite consciously wondered who would pop up and say “Yes you are, and the fact you would say that just proves what an ignorant oppressor you are.” Thanks for answering that question.

    I don’t want to get into a tit for tat. I think your arguments and tone are a bit dated, and not very generous in spirit. Not to mention quite clumsily and inaccurately representing my sentiments – you take a couple of phrases, inflate them out their contexts, and use them to build up a pretty good head of steam. My impulse is just to get out the way of that train. Nonetheless, I’ll say a couple things.

    I would call the state of the art world, and culture generally, “radically changed” considering at least 5000 years of patriarchy (with some significant civilized experiments and expressions that don’t fit that model), and even considering what things looked like 100, 50, 40, 30 years ago. It is nothing short of mind-bendingly radical, and yet completely natural, and things continue to change in the right direction with fits and starts all the time. The arc of history bends toward justice, and its bending sharply lately. We participate in that. I try to.

    Make a list of significant artists from the 1950’s. Almost all white men right? Make one for today. I’m not talking about percentages in collections, or what this or that institution may do or not do. I’m talking who really matters, and are featured in the art press – I’d argue many, likely more than half, are women, and/or of non-European descent. It’s a shocking difference, and if you aren’t happily shocked and pleased, then there is something wrong with you. That is where I’m coming from. I teach a lot of young women, a vast majority of my students in fact, at a place often called “the most influential art school in the country”. I remind them and myself often that their participation, and the pleasure of my being able to meet and teach them, is due the suffering, agitation, labor, and dedication of thousands of women (and men) before them who made it possible, and not in some remote past, but quite recently, and still. I look around MY world, and I see fucking cool chicks ruling it, and I love it. So if you don’t like it, hey you, get off of my cloud.

    I think generally your expressed vision of history and politics here is simply a bit dated, and coarse (vs. granular). Oppression has of course occurred, is occurring. Duh. But before “white people” came to Turtle Island, “red people” did a fine job of oppressing each other in many instances – ask the vassal states and slaves of the Aztecs, Inca, or Maya. More recently, the Choctaw, Cherokee, and Cheyenne to name just three owned thousands of slaves of African descent after the founding the ol’ USA. Pick your own examples from Africa, Asia, the Mideast. “White folks” do not now nor have they ever had a corner on the oppression market.

    Greed, hatred, and ignorance are human problems (not to mention plain rudeness, the issue here). Not male problems or female problems. Not white people problems, or brown people problems, or yellow people problems – notice how using certain skin color designations are more acceptable than others? We should aim at all times toward aspiring to a world where such distinctions are less and less cause for divisiveness, and they all are considered to suck. I find in most cases in the world I live in, they are amazingly vestigial and use-less, at least as they are used to create antagonistic division (while everyone has to recognize and celebrate who they are, and where they and there ancestors come from). Part of this recognition comes from an enormous sensitivity to how such distinctions have been and are still misused – due to our innate human greed, hatred and ignorance, that every human being is tasked with transforming into more enlightened expressions.

    Taking it back to this SINGLE INSTANCE, the distinction made was terrifically inelegant, thoughtless, and clearly meant to be insulting. That helps NO ONE. Praxis, your comments, while appreciated for their passion and general sentiments, I find likewise not very respectful of the particulars, or nuances. They seem mainly just to be itching for a fight, and in that I don’t see much difference in what some professional agitating right(or left)-wing pundit might say to just feed the beast of cultural dis-ease and distrust of whatever “other” is being insulted or dismissed. I don’t want a fight, so I’ll let this be my last word.

  8. PS Just wanted to add “I am not the patriarchy” is an active stance and activity, not a passive denial or apology. But better than a t-shirt that says that, I prefer the one that says “This is what a feminist looks like” – especially with our president holding it up to is chest.

  9. Did Titus just tell my black ass to be content with crumbs? Greed, Hatred, Ignorance, and Racism are inventions, are ideas. Problems can be solved, ideas have to be dealt with. Get out of SAIC for 5 minutes and look around you. No need for percentages just count. How many Yellow tv shows? How many Black comics? How many Red movies?

    1. I would say exactly *don’t* be content – but be inspired by those who’ve broken ground, and keep agitating for more change. I am, and do. As for Asian faces in media, I see a lot. Not on American networks, but in the movies and TV I choose to watch ONLINE (not to mention in Asia.) And I’m old! No person I know under 30 watches regular TV anyway. They stream everything online, and see the kinds of faces they choose to see, hear the voices they want to hear – as I bet you do. It’s a new global reality. Don’t get stuck in these old bitter divides. Make it happen, man!

      I lived on the Navajo res, in a broke down double wide trailer in the desert with an extended Dineh family, for a couple of years. I’ve lived on the streets, and on the road. You don’t need to tell me about injustice, ok? Many others have had it worse. Plenty have had it better. I’m plenty blessed, and plenty grateful. And I’m with you.

  10. Dear Titus and all other white dudes,
    Has a stranger ever looked you in the eyes and demanded to know “what you are”? Welcome to the world of being racially categorized in America, come and join us. Sucks doesn’t it? Don’t worry once your bruised ego heals you’ll get used to it. Bottom line is you ARE a white dude. Own it, and own the privilege that comes with it. The sooner you admit your privilege the sooner it can be dealt with.
    I have an idea ask your female students how confident they really feel about their future places in the art world or take the Red line south (all the way south) and ask the folks around you if it was fair that you be called a white dude. I doubt you will get any sympathy. Get over it, admit you have it better, and join us in the fight.

  11. First, there are really two separate issues here – gender and race. I perceived that from the beginning, but no one here including myself has made the distinction clear enough. So those are two discussions to be had, but I don’t really think this is the time or the place to tackle the entire issue of racial and gender inequality, certainly not with the grace and meticulousness needed. That is only bearing itself out.

    To say that nothing has improved historically, especially in the last 100 years, does a grotesque injustice to all those who suffered and given their lives to make all of our lives fairer and saner. There is (how is this even necessary to say?) enormous, vast, incomprehensible, endless progress to made in terms of reconciling the injustices not only of the past, but of the present. That healing, which occurs moment by moment by moment, will not take place by insulting other people, especially those who share your values from the start – those stated values being equality, peace, and justice. That, and only that, began this, and remains my only point.

  12. Are you sure that all of our values overlap? That’s quite the presumption, especially considering how malleable terms like “justice” can be.
    Three things so that we’re clear:
    1-Those two fights are only superficially dissimilar. Keeping them separate is a compartmentalization strategy by The Patriarchy to keep the fronts separate and manageable.
    2-The first movement towards change comes from somebody yelling Bullshit at the corrupt system. If that cry is effective, it should sting a bit.
    3-Crumbs is crumbs. It is heartbreaking to a degree that you cannot understand (and please do not pretend that you do) that the heroic efforts of so many equal rights crusaders has moved us forward to a place where true equality is still beyond the horizon.

  13. Only a couple things to say. I can’t possibly know the marks and the particularity of your suffering, it’s true; nor can you know mine. We only can know that we each have our own, and one does not trump the other. Realizing that, we should be compassionate, and careful with each other. Again, my original point.

    You said before that “greed, hatred, and ignorance” are only ideas. It is my considered belief that all injustice, and human suffering, stems from those deeply ingrained ideas and patterns, which become actions, which form reality.

    Sometimes distinctions are necessary. Sometimes they are harmful. We have to gauge which are helpful when, and not get into playing ‘gotcha.’ A teacher of mine, a Korean monk, once said “just pay attention to the direction of someone’s speech.” The details are endless, words are slippery, “the tongue has no bone” he would say. Both is that being proved here…

    We can only have some faith that other people are capable of being decent, sane, and giving, and appeal to their better natures and our own. We all share this tiny little planet, for the brief moments we do. We have to find the ways to get along on it. And meanwhile speak respectfully and kindly toward each other.

  14. Are these 4 white dudes circumcised? TRUST ME IT MAKES A DIFFERENCE!

  15. The last thing I want to say about this, is first, I genuinely appreciate everyone who made comments here.

    Second, I want to just remind that this began by me simply calling out *whoever*, as “Glasstire”, tagged Lucia’s review with the provocation “Four White Dudes”, completely out of the context of her review, or the show itself, causing whatever was read or considered after that to be “colored” with a brush she didn’t pick – or that Brand 10 deserves (their short exhibition history being balanced and diverse; and the given title of our show – curated by a woman – having the self-awareness to acknowledge that it is, uniquely for them, all men). I brought the material to attention here because there isn’t a “letter to the editor” page, and I thought the exchange was interesting, and revealing.

    It’s not, as someone accused, anything to do with “my ego”. It was seeing total insensitivity around one of the most sensitive topics in our society, like a match just blithely tossed into a pile of oil rags. As if to exactly demonstrate how incendiary the topic is, and how in need of total respect and sensitivity it is, we have this thread. It’s a good discussion to have. I think we should, as others have pointed out and as I said in my first email to Kelly, be having these discussions more.

    But like I also said from the start, that discussion should be entered into with great care, mutual respect, and sensitivity. Not a snarky, patronizing gotcha fest, begun with a cutesy passive-aggressive context-deaf swipe. We should have learned some things by now – like you don’t start a conversation about inequality by hurling blithe insults, especially not when you are a professional publication, and the self-made clearinghouse of all things art for a whole region (an important role, largely done right by GT). The editors of such publications, when their writers screw up, should take full responsibility and steps to make a correction – not give further excuses and provocations, followed with a classic pseudo-apology. I’m frankly still a bit disappointed the way this whole thing went down, and the way GT handled it – but I’m glad to have had the discussion. Airing it out is part of the process, and I commend GT for allowing it to be here.

  16. Stop. Seriously everyone stop.

    Titus, you are playing the Norman Mailer, and you’ve open a can a worms that doesn’t deserve to be in proximity to this posting. And your proving why EVERYBODY needs to be taken down a notch. The show you participated in received a glowing (almost fanatic) review and your response is to use it’s publication to air your grievances. That’s bad form and you know it. Consider for a second that you’re making yourself an ass via your own arguments.

    This is a review written by a woman, for a website run by and maintained by strong women. So your logic is fallacious.

    And you’re bringing all of this on yourself. You started the dig by posting personal correspondence (petty and cheap=passive aggressive) and you wont let up even after you say so.

    I’ve respected your writing and your voice as much as those at Glasstire that chose to include as part of their editorial voice. So stop what you’re doing. Have you thought about what your fellow exhibitors think of the fact that you’ve attached an obtuse argument to their review as well?

    I commend you for fighting the good fight, but this is not the place to do it.

    The same goes for everyone else. It’s a show review, ok? Intention and culture fallout are too broad of topics to address with one-liners on a comment board.

    Go do something productive. I’m going to assemble a lamp from IKEA, lord knows we love to hate IKEA…

  17. I’m thinking this might be as simple as I’m sitting up here in Chicago, where many of the most visible, successful, and influential young dealers, curators, artists, and critics are neither white and/or male (Theaster Gates, Angel Otero, Hamza Walker, Michelle Grabner, Shannon Stratton, Molly Zuckerman-Hartung, Monique Meloche, Kavi Gupta, on and on and on). The “white dudes” comment is so forehead slappingly, obviously stupid and offensive that everyone I talk to here, including friends across the racial/gender spectrum, can’t believe it’s even a discussion. It isn’t helping Texas’ rep. But I forget, as someone else pointed out, ya’ll are still in the “red line south”. It maybe isn’t so obvious down there – for good reason!

    I’m no happier having this remedial discussion about racial sensitivity tagged to this review than anyone else – it should have just been my short email, and an apology, posted to here for the folks who clicked on “four white dudes” wondering what such a stupid headline was portending. But it is what it is. Onward and upward, and back to work.

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