After this Artifacts, the Current swears on Ladybird Johnson we will not mention bluebonnets again … unless, um, somebody asks about them, or we happen across a particularly terrific piece of bluebonnet art, which, as it happens, happened.
Unfortunately, when the Current was working on last week’s Onderdonk-o-rama, SAMA curator David Rubin was out sick, so he didn’t have a chance to return our email asking about a fabled SAMA bluebonnet painting by the great Mel Casas. He responded as soon as he got back, sending us a jpeg of the 1969 acrylic on canvas, “Humanscape,” as well as text from the painting’s SAMA wall plaque, which contains a quote by Casas about confronting the dreaded genre back in the ’60s, when he moved from El Paso to San Anto:
“Some of the Bluebonnet paintings were beautifully painted, but they were ‘French’ painting. The Southwest is brutally raw. Here we are almost one on one with nature.”
… Bad freakin’ ass! Consider the Nouveau Bluebonnet gauntlet thrown, artists. And if you do execute a contemporary bluebonnet painting/sculpture/video of your own, drop us a line.