Midas Touch Music Video by Mark Flood
Video by Income Taxes
Video by J Bilhan
March 30th, 2019 - May 4th, 2019
What is the space of art in a city whose art history has only just begun to be examined? Some of Houston’s past has recently emerged: Darby English's recovery of the lost history of “The Deluxe Show”; Pete Gershon's Collision excavating the ecstatic chaos of the 1970s, and the desperate vitality of the 1980s via an institutional history of what where not yet real institutions (CAMH in the hands of Jim Harithas, and Lawndale not in the hands of anyone).
Maybe it's better if those histories stay under the radar, at least for a little while longer. Maybe it’s not time to celebrate our past until we do justice to our present. Our present is an economy of teardowns, subdivisions waiting for the waters to rise, an assembly of temples to long-gone booms and scams, a spreading quilt of neighborhoods where artists either dug in or moved on, flourished or floundered, stitched Houston into their practices or turned their backs on it, built shrines to Donald Barthelme or DJ Screw, fabricated new anthropologies, and tinkered with the dreams of immigrant parents in the garages of their extravagant imaginations.
Midas Touch. In the tradition of artist-organized exhibitions- from “The Times’ Square Show” to Damien Hirst’s entrepreneurial warehouse shows of early 1990s London- Midas Touch fills a huge vacant jewelry emporium known by the same name with the work of 22 artists, all who define the present state of art in Houston. Not waiting around for official approval or even rejection, artist and curator Preston Douglas reminds us that the artists always know best, that their touch is always a Midas Touch, because their hands are still dirty from the studio, because they care, or because they don't care, because they get tired of waiting, because someone had to do it, because if not now, then when?
Throughout the past year I’ve come to believe that Houston’s biggest artistic asset is that it is so far removed from the art world. Here, artists are able to focus on making work that doesn’t necessarily reflect the realities of the “big time.” This focus facilitates a creative freedom that is often found lacking in the international meat-grinder. There are hundreds of artists here and they make up a unique scene, or a cluster of scenes. Houston artists make do with relatively cheap rents, big studios and easy living. Meanwhile, the internet allows self-motivated, obsessive types to educate themselves in new ways. It’s the wild west out here. You may have to sift through a lot of mud to find a glimmer, but some have struck gold.I am excited to share with you some local work that makes me proud to be from Houston.
Opening reception: Saturday, March 30th from 6-10pm.
Closing reception: Saturday, May 4th from 6-10pm.
The exhibition will be open to the public each Saturday afternoon from 1-5pm between the opening and closing.
Email firstname.lastname@example.org to request a checklist of the work.