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Art opening: WindowWorks: Joshua Bienko

Critic's Pick Release Date: 2011-01-12

Not unlike a DJ on the decks, visual artist Joshua Bienko (who teaches at the Department of Visualization at Texas A&M) does a lot of heavy lifting when he’s creating what he calls “impressions of contemporary art.” For 2010’s Ever So Much More So, Bienko painted convincing versions of Jeff Koons’ “Rabbit” and Andy Warhol’s “Campbell’s Soup Can” on the soles of Christian Louboutin stilettos. Taking elements from this project even further, the artist painted a self-portrait as Warhol’s “Double Elvis,” only instead of being armed with pistols (as Elvis is in the original painting, which is based on publicity stills from the 1960 western Flaming Star), Bienko holds the Koons-emblazoned Louboutins, looking prepared to use them as weapons. In his 2009 video project Art Raps, Bienko assumes the role of a bespectacled white rapper and drops the names of contemporary artists in rhymes like, “Conceptual art/what can I say?/I still can’t pronounce TehChing Hsieh,” accompanied by Atari-worthy graphics. Often, this mixture of satire and reverence can be a little confusing. But whether Bienko is spoofing or trying to emulate the bad boys of the art world, he’s generated substantial buzz doing so. Although it may have little to do with his installation for Artpace, Bienko’s recent series LOUIS le’Con, which applies the (remixed and scrambled) logo-mania of Louis Vuitton to a series of paintings, would easily lend itself to a window installation. Free, 6-8:30pm, Artpace, 445 N Main, (210) 212-4900, On view in Artpace’s Main Avenue windows through May 1.

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