Colorful remnants of SouthPop linger on South Lamar

The work of the artist dubbed “Daddy-O” is so steeped in Texas culture and iconography ā€“ the old and the new, rural and urban, classy and cheesy ā€“ that “40 Years of Blood, Sweat and Beers” seems to encompass everything in the whole damn state…. (it) exudes Texas-osity, the way one oozes beery sweat after a three-night bender in Terlingua.

Robert Faires’ description of a 2009 “retrospectacle” of the work of Bob “Daddy-O” Wade at the former South Austin Museum of Popular Culture on South Lamar, Austin Chronicle

It’s hard to miss the parking lot when driving down South Lamar, and the museum sign beckoned us to explore. But, alas, the South Austin Museum of Popular Culture, founded in 2004, no longer calls 1516 South Lamar home. Hemmed in from expansion by its neighbor Planet K, in 2019 SouthPop packed up, moved the contents of its interior collection and reopened behind Threadgill’s Old No. 1 on North Lamar as the Austin Museum of Popular Culture.

But, an even bigger alas. The pandemic raised its ugly head and tolled the bell on Threadgill’s, an iconic Austin institution for almost 40 years. So the Austin Museum of Popular Culture is now homeless.

Continue reading “Colorful remnants of SouthPop linger on South Lamar”

Postcard from Malaga, Spain: Unauthorized exhibit of Banksy’s protest art

Rats: They exist without permission. They live in quiet desperation amongst the filth. And yet they are capable of bringing entire civilizations to their knees. If you are dirty, insignificant and unloved, then rats are the ultimate role model. They have no respect for society, and they have sex 50 times a day.

Banksy

The mysterious hooded lord of all street art. The man billed as bucking against anyone charging a buck, well in this case a euro, to view his art.

We saw an exhibition in Bologna a few years ago with Banksy in its title that had very little to do with the artist – a 13-Euro price tag.

But this “unauthorized” exhibition at La Termica in Malaga – “Banksy: The Art of Protest” – seemed so much less commercial. A pure tribute.

Showing Banksy is somewhat risky. In Brussels in 2018, an entire exhibition was seized by the court. Pressed for comment, Banksy released a statement about the exhibition that Urenna Ukiwe quoted in an article in The Guardian:

Hmm. Not sure Iā€™m the best person to complain about people putting up pictures without getting permission.

And the repurposed setting has such an un-aristocratic history. Before its recasting as a contemporary art center, La Termica’s institutional rooms functioned as an orphanage and then a sanitorium.

In 2015, Banksy launched a month-long pop-up on the Bristol seaside entitled “Dismaland,” “a family theme park unsuitable for small children.” It might be gone, but don’t dismay.

The flaw in this late-delivered “postcard” is that the Malaga exhibit closed this week. The good news is a cd coincidentally was released at the same time in Austin, Texas.

Bottlecap Mountain‘s “Dismayland” lives on as a perfect soundtrack….

Buy it.