“I’ll tell you this. No eternal reward will forgive us now for wasting the dawn”, Texas Radio and the Big Beat
A brief history of the past: Near the beginning, there arose a prophet through whom the word* was revealed. He so reviled the sinfulness of the city that he determined to create a purer place where study of the word would be facilitated. He chose a small town in the remote Texas dessert for his endeavor, and commenced to create a grand compound of many buildings furnished to his detailed specifications. Word spread of the accomplishments of the prophet, and others who recognized the correctness of the his vision gravitated to this place. Pilgrims seeking a better understanding of the word began to travel there for study and reflection, which continues to this day.
A brief history of the week of 3/29-4/6/14 One small band of fervent seekers, also weary of the city and it’s sin and endless dirty snow, arrives in said town for a week of such study and reflection.
Being a group with a long-established affinity for the wrong side of the tracks, they set up camp on the trailer-trash side of town. In trailers. Literally.
There they commence their study of the word, and of the town. Here follow a few impressions from this leg of their ongoing spiritual journey:
The Donald – thank you eternally Sir for having constructed pyramids in honor of your escaping, and thank you for letting us look at them – even if you didn’t let us take pictures. Perfectly imposing constructions laid out just-so against the backdrop of the luscious Chihuahua dessert. Marvelous. Memorable. We were impressed, even if an evil little voice did whisper in our ear once or twice that as a theology it was perhaps just a wee bit, well, tidy.
Dan Flavor Flav Flavin – This we loved. Totally intoxicating. So much visual pleasure we felt like kids on a truly excellent sugar high. This work alone would have made the trip worth it.
Prada Marfa – The emptiness of commercialism. The fetishism of commodities. Man-made vs natural environments. Decay over time. The usual themes handled here with an extremely deft touch. Plus, it’s fun. You try doing that. (Note to the State of Texas – we have a deal for you – back off on your plan to tear this place down and we agree to allow George W. Bush to continue to call himself a painter.)
El Cosmico – The above-mentioned trailer park. Only it’s a trailer park as re-imagined by generous gurus on a particularly good batch of windowpane. The perfect spot for your next wedding, bar mitzvah, acid trip. Did we mention the hot tubs?
Biennial Roadshow Marfa Opening Reception – The main event, held at El Cosmico. Sublime. The transcendence of life lived among art and artists. So much glorious art, and artists and art lovers to share it with. Proving once again that art is reason enough not to put a gun to your head. Did we mention the hot tubs?
One of the highlights of the night was artist Artemis Herber – one of the prize winners and a truly amazing artist and person, speaking about her work. We are in total awe of her.
Check out more of her work here: artemisherber.com
Then there was the also amazing and really nice Karen Rosenkrantz – on the left below at the reception – who showed work from her witty and apropos series Cowboys, and had this to say about the event afterwards: “Thanks so much for including me .. It was an interesting experience. I think I was particularly impressed that the entire cast of characters (of course) just showed up: artists, gallerists, curators , and buyers. … Pretty amazing and nicely done. All the best.” Right back at you Karen – you are great!
Check out more of Karen’s work here: karenrosenkrantz.com
Another great participant was Ginny Barrett, who brought her human and canine entourage down from Austin for the event:
We love her and her work! See more at: ginnybarrett.com
See all the Biennial Roadshow Marfa art here:
See the Biennial Roadshow prizewinners here:
Because this work is great, and because as artists ourselves we take seriously our responsibility to publicize the fuck out of your work, we are going to show all the Biennial Roadshow Marfa artwork on a large sreen for the entire Boston Biennial 2015 (July/August – Atlantic Works Gallery Boston). Come one, come all!
Community of Marfa and Environs – We offer our most most profound un-ironic thanks for warming our hearts, tanning our faces, and sending us back to Gomorrah with a skip in our step. Such a gorgeous, unique huge little town. We’ll be back if you’ll have us.
There is lots more to be told about Marfa. But it will have to wait for now. El Cosmico doesn’t have cable, and those re-runs of Project Runway don’t watch themselves.
The Biennial Project, in collaboration with the Biennial Roadshow Marfa Advisory Group.
* And the word is Minimalism. (Prominent artists associated with this movement include Donald Judd, John McCracken, Agnes Martin, Dan Flavin, Robert Morris, Anne Truitt, and Frank Stella. Minimalism derives from the reductive aspects of Modernism and is often interpreted as a reaction against Abstract expressionism and a bridge to Postminimal art practices.)