By Brian Fee
The wildest art show in Austin isn’t in a museum or gallery, but rather a raw, former commercial space adjacent to the Paramount Theatre. There’s no sign out front, though artist-run non-profit organizers Co-Lab made one: unfurled on the venue’s concrete floor, it reads LAME LEWD AND DEPRESSED printed on the backside of a Freebirds World Burrito vinyl banner. LL&D‘s invite card features images of Thai prostitutes and a literally pissed bum. The press release, primarily composed by exhibiting artist and provocateur Mark Flood, slathers acerbic wit on thick:
“Perhaps as a result of some fine print, which they didn’t notice when they signed their contracts with Satan to give themselves upwardly mobile art careers, all three of these inexplicably successful shitheads will soon be in a show at an abandoned warehouse posing as a gallery, right here in sweet unspoiled Austin, the Houston of the hill country.”
Flood’s array of mutant bus-riders is derived from studio time spent near a BART stop, around an exhibition at NOMA Gallery in San Francisco. This speaks volumes to me as a hardcore big-city commuter: both Flood’s subway newbie with a route map (System Rider, replete with BART map collage) and the seasoned vet out for a recreational afternoon (Muni Rider, with SFMOMA leaflet of Henri Matisse’s Blue Nude and an ad for “Grand Daddy Purple” marijuana). Flood might not expect anyone to gain satisfaction from this very personal series besides himself, but I’ve routinely been that zoned-out traveler, clutching the overhead hand-guard, maybe seriously jet-lagged after an international flight to wherever, reduced to a colorful circulatory tangle in Flood’s paintings.
Lame Lewd and Depressed is on view at Some Old Warehouse, 721 Congress, Austin, through October 30.
Brian Fee is an art punk based currently in Austin, but he can usually be found in New York, Tokyo, or Berlin, depending on the art season.