The salons, the apartments and the alley ways. The cozier (well, and not cozy at all) places that remind us that art should be a totally normal part of our lives, existing in the nooks and crannies of the city and not always just in the galleries. Two weekends from now, two solo show openings, along with an ongoing art adventure, let you explore these seemingly unconventional spaces.
Opening Saturday, January 26th, 7-9 pm, at Paloma Botanical Beauty Parlour (600 Mueller Blvd, Suite #1005), Sara Vanderbeek will present a show of her artist portraits entitled Us. Vanderbeek’s portraits capture, in a brushy rendering, personality, setting, lighting and philosophy. Working from photographs she takes herself, Vanderbeek poses artists in front of their own art, in a re-creation of a creation. These two interviews, published last year, provide some interesting insight into her motivation and process. Kaely Coons’ interview with Vanderbeek for Austinist captures Vanderbeeks compelling artistic challenge for herself: “In this series, the artists are all in front of their own work. So kind of like being a scientist and trying to figure out how they do what they do. Vincent Valdez does these realistic renderings of people on canvas, and I was like, “How am I going to paint that?” With Chuck Close – I was trying to mix all these colors I had never made before.” This one is not to be missed, especially with a bang trim or massage on the side.
That same night, from 7-10 pm, Red Space Gallery (1203 W. 49th Street) presents Till’s Landing by Jenny White, whose site-specific installation will address issues of “mass embarrassment,” using the Balloon Boy story from headlines a few years ago as a reference point. At least in the safety of their own home, we can all be embarrassed together.
Meanwhile, in an ongoing project funded by an IDEA grant, MASS Gallery presents their Alley Cat Project, in which outdoor artwork is installed in the alleys of East Austin. Twelve artworks, going up over the next month snake almost surreptitiously through the east. There is a map, but it’s hard to beat the day-long, wandering art trek outside the four walls.
(Though not with keeping with the theme of this post, I do have to mention MASS Gallery also has an opening for their double exhibition this Friday, January 18th at their new space at 507 Calles St., Suite 108, with a special performance at 8 pm and multi-media works by Scott Gelber and Scott Eastwood.)