Court Lurie

Court Lurie, Nexus #8, courtesy of Russell Collection, Austin, TX

We think we see with our eyes. We don’t. We see with our expectations.

So I like Court Lurie’s art because there is no expectation of narrative or story structure. Narrative gets spooned to us all day long framing our view, pulling about our emotions, puppet-stringed by the story teller. Ourselves perhaps.

We don’t just “do the dishes” —  we slog through dishes for the two hundredth time for our self-absorbed roommate, who only thinks of herself, just like when as a kid, latch key in hand, made supper and scrubbed through chores until the parents got home. Right now the dishes are little injustices we’ve hauled around through the timeline titled, “my life as a loner.” Suddenly a red plate goes crashing.  Or a mug rage-tossed over the balcony. Leaving a pottery shard pattern on the sidewalk.

These implicit historical narratives wriggle into the everyday, drip and eddy around. Wordless tangles of old tapes playing almost inaudibly in the background. Stories about everything we do. If you start to get emotional about picking out your outfit, or why the stapler is missing, or why you have to pick up those legos again, or why your boss is mean to you — search for the narrative you are telling that colors the event, that nets around and crumples you into an emotional wad.

What if we “un-story?” What if the boss is a bitch, because the boss is a bitch. What if we pick up the legos, because we are picking up the legos. What if our actions and events are not representative of a multilayer narrative that started in vitro?

If the roommate is a lazy ass-moocher, kick ’em to the curb. Lose the roommate, lose the self story.

Pick up a Court Lurie at the Russell Collection, April 6 – May 5, 2013.

Definitely a better roommate, but doesn’t do dishes either.


Judy Paul, Twins 1 © Judy Paul

Judy Paul, Twins 1 © Judy Paul

Today’s not a day for arm-chair metaphysics. It’s a Monday. Let’s not contemplate the imminent demise of abstract art’s possibilities. “Happy” is a fine and dandy reason for a brush to tickle a canvas too. So I dub Judy Paul Queen Monday because of slinkies, hula hoops and spiral thinking.

I spent a heated Saturday unraveling a ten-inch rainbow slinky my son bought with tickets from Chuck-E-Cheese’s. Like the excruciating division of Siamese twins. I overtook shambles of cork-screwy plastic with only the panic in his eyes to keep me going.  In the end, the tangles surrendered, but the slinky now slinks a wonky lop-sided gait. A sproingy architecture piece twisted on my desk. So I get nervous for this painting. I want to tell it not to get uptight, ’cause if it gets tangled, well it won’t be pretty.

I’ve told you before that I yearly panic because I missed the 60’s in America. Free love, bra burning and Bob Dylan–teenage troubadour. But I found peace, love and happiness in a handmade hula hoop I bought at the local farmers market as Booker T & the MG’s spun the turntable. You catch a freewheelin’ fun vibe when you’re hoopin’. And you can catch it from these loop-d-loops too.

And the joy of chasing your mental tail. The going round and round the same synaptic cycles in your mind. The same triggers, the same feedback loops.  A hypnotic ever-circling. I want to tell this painting to snap out of it and move on. But it is moving isn’t it ? Not sure which direction.

Maybe it’ll take a lop-sided slinking or a hula-hoop shimmy, but I trust you’ll get where you’re going. Rock the round robin as you find your way.

Barton Springs

Patrick Puckett, Barton Springs, 2012, © Patrick Puckett

Patrick Puckett, Barton Springs, 2012, © Patrick Puckett

When you visit Austin, TX (ATX), come take a dip here at Barton Springs. The fountain of Austin’s eternal youth. Some will recommend Hippy Hollow in the spirit of naked rollicking fun, but it’s a drive. If you want to dive into the heart of the city, this is your place.

Surrounded by Zilker Park and sky-spanning oaks, Barton Springs bubbles up from the aquifer at a beautiful 68° degrees year round. And year round you’ll find people swimming its luminous three acre length. With the salamanders and the occasional snake.

Tonkawa Indians bathed in the springs for sacred cleansing. The Spanish built a mission. Texas legislators cobbled compromises on its grassy slopes. You’re just as likely to meet a naiad here as the love of your life. And tops are optional.

I like this painting because it captures a timeless Barton Springs–the centuries layered under this paint. Reflects the sense of wonder that an actual place can melt into our skin. Touch a collective conscience as past memories lap against the bodies of today’s swimmers. A warrior cleansed, a convert baptized. Every bather’s released worries, friend’s wacky stories, and lovers’ stolen kisses; they all incarnate this spring. You can meditate laps or cannonball dive, either way refreshed to give soiled Life another go.

Citrusy colors capture the bright vibrant atmosphere. The creative diptych (two panels) calls out the quirky-fun vibe. Trees in solid motion cast shady pools and remind me of Japanese prints with elegant economy of line. There’s a splash of mid-century aesthetic, but its dripping modern all over.

And although you can’t own Austin’s limpid crowning jewel, this work is still available. A treasure sparkling down at the bottom of Barton Springs. Just a dive away.

(see the rest of Patrick’s work soon at Wally Workman gallery, ATX)