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1. Between Love and Madness: Mexican Comic Art from the 1970s
Lawndale Art Center | Through March 25
We‘re all familiar with comics — the graphic, fast-paced stories are the stuff of childhood imagination, filled with heroes in capes, villains in masks and supernatural powers saving the day. Mexican micro-cuentos (mini-tales), however, are different. Telling tales of crime, passion as well as political critique, these small, inexpensive comics were cheap and have been largely forgotten since their publication in the 1970s. This exhibition aims to change that and bring the stories into our conversation through the display of the original ink drawings, cover paintings and ephemera that surrounded the publication and distribution of these small-scale books.
2. WAR-TOYS: Israel, West Bank, and Gaza Strip
University of Houston-Clear Lake Art Gallery | Through March 15
For the past seven years, artist Brian McCarty has been working to tell the stories of anonymous children
who hail from areas affected by armed conflict. Working with an art therapist, he asks the children
to create pictures of their lives in an attempt to understand their stories and validate their experiences.
McCarty then finds toys locally and recreates the children’s drawings in photographs, turning their
marker doodles into equally harrowing images of bomb raids and bus fires. This exhibition is a mustsee
because it helps us understand the world we live in and how countries’ actions affect real people.
3. Tex Kerschen: Swine
Civic TV Laboratories | Through February 28
Houston-based artist, musician, writer and curator Tex Kerschen turns the idealized photo shoots of models found in magazines into the stuff of nightmares. By distorting and manipulating faces, bodies and patterns, he gets at the heart of our culture of consumerism: we all seek to hide who we truly are, even if we appear perfect on the outside. A founder of some of Houston’s staple experimental bands, including Indian Jewelry and Studded Left, Kerschen has sought out the perfect venue for the first comprehensive exhibition of his work in Houston: Civic TV is an artist-run space that prides itself on showing cutting-edge (and under the radar) music and art.
4. Protégés: The Legacy of Dr. John Biggers as Viewed Through the Art Works of Thirteen Students
William Reaves | Sarah Foltz Fine Art | Through February 10
It is impossible to overstate the impact Dr. John Thomas Biggers had on Texas’ art community. From founding Texas Southern University’s art department to painting numerous public murals in Houston and beyond, Biggers helped establish Houston as a city dedicated to the arts. Drawing on works from the artist’s students, many of whom are still creating art to this day, this exhibition looks at Biggers’ legacy as a teacher, mentor and friend who encouraged those around him to follow their creative passions.
5. Andy Coolquitt: Hopson Shouse
Jonathan Hopson Gallery | Through March 4
Who doesn’t like brightly colored objects that remind them of home? Austin-based artist Andy Coolquitt has created a life that is art, turning his home and studio compound into a living, breathing installation. For Hopson Shouse, Coolquitt has come to Houston in an attempt to transfer his particular way of looking and living into the space of the Montrose-located Jonathan Hopson Gallery. The artist’s vibrant, found-object aesthetic promises to delight your eyes and prompt your desire to touch the art.