As we meander through Contemporary Art Month on First Friday, the streets are brimming with foot traffic on the way to various galleries and the bars scattered in between. Sometimes the two-day shows are worth the hike. On July 7, Holden’s 101 hosted the Porto Potty Posse art show, in which 14 immaculate Portopotties were allocated to local artists to convert into art galleries of their own.
Many artists used the potties’ interior as shelves to house their art — no doubt these were the cleanest privies I’ve ever seen. Hamburgers were grilled outside and a DJ spun everything from Blondie to New Kids on the Block. The humor behind some of the installations was refreshing. In one potty, a children’s toy car was transformed into a blinged-out roadster, spray-painted and equipped with gold grill, hubcaps, and a glowing subwoofer in the back. In another, by Alexander, an incarnation of H.R. Giger’s biomechanical portrait “Li” was accented with lively colors and flowers.
Saturday night at 1906 S. Flores was dense with conversation and swarming with people of all ages. Children ran around outside and chairs were set up in front of a silkscreen on the warehouse wall for Potter-Belmar Labs’ screening of video artwork that was agonizing and consuming all at once.
Salon Mijangos hosted Mash it up! by Jessica Barnett DeCuir of Hyperbubble, which consisted of a number of collages and reassemblies of vintage album covers and black-and-white headshots of big ’80s hair. On some level, it was a game of music trivia, and brought people together in their nostalgia for Olivia Newton John and brightly colored legwarmers.
The one9zero6 gallery’s Porno Show evoked the lasciviousness in all of us. Beto Gonzales’s trinity of fast-food girls excavated questions of the female body. With photographs of the innards of some of San Antonio’s favorite fast-food chains as the background — Whataburger, Bill Miller, and Church’s, in assumed order of preference — his coquettish “Hispanic girls” gave a peep show or just stripped down to business. Another of Gonzales’s pieces, untitled, minimal yet poignant, was the shadowed outline of two female forms — one in the supine position pelvis up, and another kneeling — made of invitingly soft, chocolate-colored faux fur. The kind that just makes you want to lay your head down ...
It was an auspicious weekend full of dynamic works and images that would satisfy even the most niggling minds. Although “the road to nowhere is infinite,” as Fl!GHT Gallery’s grand (re)opening proclaims, July is well underway, so be sure to get out and enjoy.
- FRANCESCA CAMILLO