Saturday, April 30, 2011

Street Art: Florida On the Wing in an Alley Wall

Art is everywhere. The impulse to store and display our psychic energies onto a medium, in this case a brick wall in Tampa, where others can see it is universal. Here it takes flight where one can just see part of it while walking by.

Chinese Government on Human Rights and Ai Wei Wei

From the Chinese embassy, as published in the newspaper China Daily, English edition:

"The Ai Weiwei case, in essence, is not a human rights matter, nor is it about freedom of speech. No one is above the law. Just like in other countries, acts of violations of the law will be dealt with by the law,"

"Art is thriving in China. One can find art in all its forms and genres in China, from classical to post-modern, from Chinese to Western, from realism to abstract art,"

 Art is thriving in China, that is true. It is also true that having the police arrest the top living artist in China on nebulous charges and holding him incommunicado along with dozens of others, means that only approved art is thriving in China, and in an atmosphere of fear.

Source: [Link]

Friday, April 29, 2011

Love The Future: Chinese Rock Star Arrested & released for Defending Ai Wei Wei.

 Chinese rock star Zuoxiao Zuzhou was arrested and released after 12 hrs. by police in Shanghai for displaying "Free Ai Wei Wei" on a large screen during his performance at the Modern Sky Folk and Poetry Festival in Zhouzhuang, China. Zuzhou had no comment except for: "Everything is ok now," he wrote, "thanks for your concerns." Looks like the secret police were successful in intimidating him into silence about his friend Ai Wei Wei.

Only days ago, he wrote: "Ai Weiwei's character and courage can't be matched today,"

Source: [Link]

Bits and Pieces @ Tempus Projects

Tempus Gallery, Side View
Driving slowly up Florida Avenue, past the theaters converted into churches, used-car dealerships, boarded up places and small restaurants, I blink and pass Tempus Projects before turning around and parking. The gallery is a converted garage-to-gallery space on 5132 Florida Ave, behind a T-shirt printing business.  It describes itself on its website [Link] accurately as a "conduit in the art community". This Bits and Pieces exhibit was a rarity for a gallery, in that nothing was priced for sale. It was composed of part of two fairly eclectic collections of work from 1979 to 2010,  owned by two USF assistant professors who also happened to have curated the show, Gregory Green and Neil Bender. This was announced as a "Supertest" exhibit. This is a non-profit group whose Board of Directors is composed mostly (3/4ths) of USF assistant professors, including one of the curators.

AT has been to & reviewed another Supertest event, The Refractory, back in Oct 2010. See here: [Link].

Unknown, 19th c. anatomical engraving

This exhibit had no discernable overall concept or cohesive idea besides belonging to and being curated by two USF assistant profs, the Supertest branding, and the broad range of objects  from mere antique curios, like a 19th c. anatomical drawing (?), at left,  art by little-known artists to a few by famous ones. Nor was there any way to tell what pieces belonged to what collection unless one spoke to one of the principals. This gave the exhibit a disjointed , foggy quality, which could be said (in a moment of overreach) to be akin to hypertextual reading. 

A few highlights...

Tim Rollins and K.O.S., Untitled, which I forgot to photograph, was an interesting work to see. The extraordinary Mr. Rollins and his Kids Of Survival -- high school students from PS 52 in the Bronx that had been written off by the system -- collaborated in minimalist art works  that combined lessons in reading, writing and art making, often using collaged pages from texts on canvas. They had a lector reading the text in question while the art was made. And they exibited in galleries, asserting their work as fine art.  Superb stuff that should be more in use today, maybe digitally. Rollins was told the kids were academically at risk, but he had faith in them and himself, and would not let any label determine their fate.

On the first day of class he told them: "Today we are going to make art, but we are also going to make history."

And they did. Rollins eventually moved the project out of the school and into a variety of spaces. After teaching all day, he would meet with the KOS, and produce art into the night. To this day there are KOS workshops and members working in Philadelphia, Memphis, San Francisco, Seattle and NYC.  [Link].

Tony Tasset, Untitled (Event Photograph) 1992, Type C print

On the left is the image of a photograph by Tony Tasset, Untitled (Event Photograph). It looks like a man and a woman in what appears to be meat by-products. Mr. Tasset is a multimedia artist who has worked in video, bronze, wax, sculpture, photography, film, taxidermy and more. He was awarded a Guggenheim in 2006. He received his MFA from AIC, lives in Chicago and teaches at UIC. You can see more of his work here: [Link]  
He is known for a sly sense of humor in his art, and for mining popular culture for his work.

Todd A. Young, Old Mickey, 1998

Old Mickey, by Todd Ayoung depicts the familiar Disney character grown old, still perky and coy, but looking wrinkled, ears torn, tail down to a thin shred, in a word: decrepit. Why would anyone pull Mickey out of mythic time and show him as a Sr. citizen? To show how the memories of our childhood
fare as we age, or as a comment on how he has overstayed his time, perhaps a mirror for ourselves, or like so many who come to Florida do so as Sr. citizens. By Dorian Gray-ing a youthful iconic character his range of meanings is shifted.

Frank Moore, Untitled, watercolor, 1997

  A gorgeous small watercolor of a landscape with a knotted ribbon across it. I'm not sure which Frank Moore this is

Joseph Lupo, "You", pencil on paper, 2001

 Every time we do a financial transaction, we leave behind and take with us a record of it, in the form of a receipt. This is one of a series titled "Receipts" Joseph Lupo did in various media, including graphite, etching, and silkscreen. This is a relatively early one of an evening of drinking with a friend. He is a Chicagoan who is currently teaching printmaking at West Virginia University as the Print Program Coordinator.

Richard Kern, Submit to me Now, Super 8 to video, 1987
There was a Richard Kern Video, Submit to me now,  playing. [Link]

Tempus Gallery may be the only dog-friendly gallery in the area.

Outside, one of Warhol's screen tests played.

Nan Goldin, Untitled, 1992, Type C print

This was a great photo from Nan Goldin, a 5x7, which means it was early in her meteoric career, of one of her friends putting make-up on. [Link]

It was a somewhat odd, but very interesting exhibit. Congratulations to Tempus, Supertest, Neil Bender and Gregory Green.

Thursday, April 28, 2011

This Mayday Weekend: April 29th-May 1st

Barkin' Hearts Wonderland @ Tampa Historic Trolley Barn - AT friend Johnna Guzman brings back Alice by popular demand. This is a party/fundraiser for ASPCA Tampa and other pet rescue groups, to one of which I will forever be indebted. Cirque-style performances, live music, art installations, erotic burlesque and pole dancing, dancing by the river's waterfront, and live body painting. I attended the first Wonderland party. It was a feast for the senses, and the money goes to a great cause. I expect this one to be even better. Costumes are encouraged. $25 in advance, $30 at the door. At the Tampa Trolley Barn, 1910 Ola Ave., Tampa. 8 PM Friday, April 29th.


Brava @ Salt Creek Artworks - Six of our best women artists, Kim Radatz, Carolina Cleere, Margaret Conte, Lyla Haggard, Candace Knapp, and Phyllis Mc Ewen. This is a must-see show. Opens on Friday, April 29th, 6-9 PM  Through May 21. Salt Creek Artworks, 1600 fourth st S., St Petersburg. Free.

A Father's Legacy: Classic Ansel Adams Images @ Florida Museum of Photographic Arts- These are 54 of the prints Ansel Adams made specially for his daughter, Work spanning from 1921-1968. April 28 - July 6th. 200 N. Tampa St, Downtown Tampa. $5 donation.

12th Annual Wildlife and Western Visions Art Show @ Raymond James Financial Center - Nineteen Artists, including Native Americans, will be exhibited. This show is the result of an effort between The Plainsmen Gallery of Clearwater and Raymond James Financial. Saturday at 10 AM - 5 PM, Sunday  11 AM - 4 PM. A live "quick-draw" will be held between 10 Am - 1 PM Saturday, wherein the artists will create works while you watch. These pieces will be auctioned off later at 1:00 PM. At James Financial Center, Tower IV, 880 Carillon Parkway, St Petersburg. Free.

Luciana Gonzalez Franco Lecture: "Discarded Materials, Design Transformation" @ Scarfone/Hartley Gallery - Tuesday, May 3rd, at 6 PM. 310 N. Boulevard. Free.

UT Spring Film and Digital Festival - This is a wonderful event, with work by UT students. Saturday, April 30th, 7-9 PM. Reeves Theater, Unversity of Tampa. Free.

Photoshop & Powerpoint for Children @ College Hill Library - Kids learn the basics and create art and poetry using these powerful tools. For grades 3-5 only. College Hill Branch Library, 2607 E. MLK Blvd., Tampa. 2:15 PM Today (Thursday) to next Friday. 813-273-3652

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Tools: The Artist's Statement

The dreaded, much-maligned, often ridiculed artist's statement. Of all the issues in the art world, this one gets the most attention in proportion to what is required. So many creatives that have dealt with impossibly difficult and innovative concepts, complex issues of craft, funding, etc. seem to fold before it.

There's nothing to fear about an artist's statement. It's part and parcel of being an artist, and required for exhibiting, being considered by a gallery, issuing a press release, contacts, etc. It's just a succint written statement about your art that will help it to be seen, become accessible and available for purchase, not some kind of dark magic that will fence it in and nullify it.

Most of all, it is an opportunity to reach out to others who may be too physically distant or unavailable for a meeting, viewing your exhibit and more. An opportunity and a good thing. Like so many things in life, it morphs depending on how you look at it, and a positive outlook makes all the difference in the world. Besides, it's good practice, because as an artist, you will have to speak about your art and be prepared to respond to questions about it. No, I do not mean explain your art in a deadpan literal, abecedarian maner downshifted to the lowest common denominator, but to speak about it, on your own terms and fluently. Writing your artist's statement prepares you for this.

--- Luis

Simple sample statements: [Link]

How-to write artists' statements: [Link], [Link], [Link], [Link] [Link] and [Link]

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Street Art: On a phone box.

This collaborative mixed-media effort is on a phone box on a concrete pole.

--- Luis

Demonstrations for Ai Wei Wei's release: Hong Kong

Thousands of demonstrators took to the streets of Hong Kong recently demanding Ai Wei Wei's release. They wore Guy Fawkes masks, carried images and figurines of the artist. The battle is now being waged on the not-so-great walls of the city, with street artists painting the city with stenciled images of the artist risking arrest and staying a scant distance ahead of city cleaning crews. Love the Future.

Source: [Link]

Monday, April 25, 2011

Sweet Cheeks Candy and Beauty Bar Grand Opening

This shop at 1045 Central Ave. opened to a spirited crowd of well-wishers, friends and neighbors on April 20th. They featured the "Steampunk Circus", which consisted of a few carnival games, a costume contest, raffle prizes and the work of 30 artists.

There were lots of beautiful people on hand. I spoke at length with both of the families involved. They put in two solid months re-bopping the space to its upbeat, trendy status. Those families were blessed with beautiful kids, specially their daughters. One son is a tattoo artist named Keller who co-owns Classic Tattoos in Pinellas Park [Link]. There's a fully equipped pro-caliber portrait photo studio on the premises run by photographer S.K. Fish [Link]

This is the view from the counter. It was packed with sweet goodies at the opening.

Outside, an acrobat/juggler entertained...

And there was art. Part of it was a traveling show with the Steam punk Circus, though I was told that in the future There will be art by at least one of the principals up on the walls.

The art was along the steam punk theme, varying widely in quality, mostly unremarkable, and unlabeled. It was very affordable, and the friend I went with to this opening bought a print, and he's a printer.

On the left, my pick of what was there.

It was a wonderful opening/evening at Sweet Cheeks. The families that own and run the business are warm, friendly people. Treat your sweet tooth and visage to a visit.

The concept is unique, and AT wishes Jessica and the crew the best. 

--- Luis

Sunday, April 24, 2011

For Artists: Making your reception the best it can be.

Here's an excerpt from advice on dealing with a reception from the Agora blog:

" ...the truth is that an opening reception can be a great opportunity for you as an artist, and it’s important to approach it from that perspective. If you can take time out of thinking about all the other jobs or arrangements that need dealing with to concentrate on the reception, then it’s worth doing. Think of it as an investment – if you put in a little thought beforehand, you will be far better prepared for the night itself. Here are seven top tips to help you get the most out of the evening that you can.

1) Realize what this reception says about you. Whether it’s your first reception, your first in the area or with this particular gallery or whether you’re a seasoned artist doing something you’ve done many times before,  what you’re telling the world is that you are a serious artist with work worth showing to the world. Understanding this consciously is important for your sense of identity as an artist, for your self-confidence, and so that you respond to the guests at the reception in the right way – as the artist you are."

Read the rest here: [Link]

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Love The Future: Ai Wei Wei has not really Disappeared or Been Silenced

Last night I was talking with a sculptor at a party, and he remarked that things looked very bad for Ai Wei Wei, and they do. The secret removal in dead of night of a 30+ ft sculpture of Confucius from Tiananmen square is another bizarre twist in the saga of the Chinese government and the Arts. [Link]

As all of this darkness continues to unravel, I ran across this little essay...

  From James Wagner at

"I cannot imagine a China, indeed a modern world, without his presence, his conscience and his art. If we deserve the art we get, the government we get, we will have to do everything in our power to see Ai Weiwei return to the people of China, and the world."

Read the entire essay here: [Link]


Friday, April 22, 2011

Happenings on the 600 Block: Third Friday and Earth Day

Today is the Earth Day Celebration on the 600 block of Central Ave in St. Pete. There will be an herb sale (no, not that kind!), Lectures and Workshops, Live Eco-Art, Recycled Crafts Music and much more. It starts at noon and goes on until 6 PM. Tonight, Friday April 22, at the Collective (601 Central Ave) they are showing an Earth Day Film at 9:00 PM. There will be a post-show discussion led by Duke of Electric Voodoo Tattoos at 951 Central, an excellent shop and art space.

Last week there was an event (third Saturday?) at the 600 block. Here's a few pictures...

These two artists were busy working together in the Crislip Arcade (645 Central Ave). Kimberly White and Saori (who uses only one name)  each own a gallery bearing their name and are neighbors in the arcade. to see more of Saori's work & gallery [Link]. To see more of Kimberly White's work and gallery [Link]

On the right is a photo of Jeff Williams drawing while sitting on the 600 block sidewalk, just outside the arcade. He's with the Ramblin' Rose Recycled Boutique and the band St. Pete Beat. This is the kind of close contact and availability one has with the artists at these 600 block events on Central.

On the right is long-time AT friend and multi-talented artist Alex experiencing a moment of Satori while painting...

Across the street, music flowed from bars and over the counter at the sidewalk sale at Daddy Cool Records, a wonderful music store.

--- Luis

Sneak Preview: Bethany Baker @ Cafe Bohemia Opening Tonight.

Thursday night I stopped by Cafe Bohemia after attending the opening of Sweet Cakes (more on that later) and stumbled onto emerging photographer Bethany Baker putting up her photographs in preparation for the opening of her solo show tonight, Friday 22.

I had the opportunity to talk with the artist as she put up her beautiful classic work. Bethany is living currently in Polk County, and has a corporate day job. She is well-traveled and a sweetheart. Here's a few images from the show:

 Bethany Baker, "Rotarua"

Bethany Baker, "Natural Architect"

By Bethany Baker

Bethany Baker and her work at Cafe Bohemia

Below is Bethany and some of her work. The solo show opens tonight at Cafe Bohemia, 937 Central Avenue, St. Petersburg. AT looks forward to seeing more work from Bethany in the future. She can be reached at:

--- Luis

Ps.While at the exhibit, treat yourself to a beer, glass of wine, or any of the excellent coffees, and do not miss ordering the falafels there.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

This Egg-Hunting Weekend: April 22nd - 24th

"Drawing Recourse" @ The Locker Room USF - Ellen Mueller's Alternative Media drawing class students will hold a group exhibit at The Locker Room, April 27-30. That means it starts Wednesday of next week.

The Locker Room is located in the USF Tampa Campus Art Building at 4202 E Fowler Ave, FAH103, Tampa FL 33620. The closing reception is Friday, April 29, 2011, 7-9pm. Admission is free, and refreshments will be served.  Exhibition hours beyond the reception are by appointment only.

Exhibiting artists include Krista Barnett, Joclyn Emerson, Jacqueline Flavio, Shauncey Ford, Monica Garrett, Tiffany Glass, Sarah Kett, Elizabeth Malley, Rafael Martin, Heather McHugh, Katherine Morrow, Kim Nguyen, Ashley Ortiz-Diaz, Monica Perez, Hillary Reed, Justin Sears, Charles Sommer, Chase Starr 


Steam Punk Circus @ Sweet Cheeks Candy & Beauty Bar - Today, Thursday, April 21.  A combination candy store, make up and photo-studio all under one roof is having its grand opening tonight  with a steampunk party at 7 PM. 1045 Central Ave. St Pete. Free.

Bits and Pieces @ Tempus Projects - Japanese drawings, anatomical illustrations, and video images and Treenton Doyle Hancock prints. Friday April 22, Free. 5132 North Florida Avenue, Tampa. 7-10 PM

Grand Central's fourth Friday Stroll - 5-11 PM on Central, between 18th and 31st streets, St Petersburg. Friday, April 22nd. Free.

Last Showing of Ellen Mueller's "Book of Enid" - Ellen Mueller performs as one of the characters from her "Book of Enid", reading in her installation. There are also videos shown on Practical Preparedness in our fear-driven society. The book of Enid is about a time-treveler woman trying to stop a violent conflict after it has happened.  Showing at USF's Contemporary Art Museum at noon, at 3821 Holly Drive, Tampa Fl. Free. Friday, April 22.

Digimazing Exhibit Reception - Video Art throughout the gallery. Friday, April 22nd. 7-9 PM, USF Centre Gallery, 4202 Fowler Avenue, Tampa. MSC 2700.

Annie Leibowitz: Women @ Polk Museum of Art - It's a haul, but worthwhile. Through June 26th. Also showing is "Women's Works" by female artists. Through May 22nd. Museum closed Friday and Sunday for Easter. 800 E. Palmetto St. Lakeland. $5 admission, $4 seniors, kids and students free.

Degas and Herb Schnitzer @ Tampa Museum of Art - $10 admission, 120 Gasparilla Plaza. On Fridays, between 4-8 PM, Art on The House makes it possible for the public to see the museum for free.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Rockin' The Arts @ Rob Davidson Fine Arts

The relationship between music and the arts goes back a long time. It can be divided in two camps: Art inspired/motivated/derived/interpreted from music, and art depicting how it's made (musicians at work). This show has both, and some surprises as well.

William Powell, "Tabak Resonator"
There was live music in the back patio & yard of RDFA.  Three bands played into the evening... Three Pint Harmony...Leigh Humes Band...Renegade Strand. A mellow crowd ringed the space and had a great time.

 There were several hand-made musical instruments on a table as part of the show. The one on the right is by William Powell, titled "Tabak Resonator". It is a beautifully crafted object. Another view is on the left.

Here's a close-up of another one, showing the craftsmanship involved in making this 4-string instrument.

On the right is another instrument by William Powell, titled "Tabak Special".

Ronnie Boudreaux, "Small Music (sic) Hangar"

On the left is Ronnie Boudreaux's "Small Music (sic) Hangar". I'm not sure whether the spelling of it is on purpose or an error. The shards in it and the vibrantly colored frame speak of music.
Nicole Sarikko, "Kokopelli"

Nicole Sarikko, "Kokopelli". Kokopelli is an Amerindian (Hopi and Zuni) fertility/agriculture/spirit of music. The Indians depict him with a huge phallus and unborn children on his back, like the belly of a pregnant woman. He distributes babies to moms-to-be. He also consorts with a woman called Kokopellmana. Here, he's abstracted out into a dynamic and beautiful swirl of color across four panels.

Clint Thomas, "Drummer, Puddle of Bear Band"

 On the left is a picture by Clint Thomas, of what appears to be a kid's body holding drum sticks with a stuffed teddy bear's
head superimposed, all in indigo with a whimsical, amused facial gesture. It's more about the spirit of music than a depiction of a musician, in spite of the enigmatic title.

 On the right, by Mary Matowsky, "The Groupie". Young, buxom, attractive, carefree, sexually provocative, generic, wearing a tankini with a feminized version of Mick Jagger's Hot Lips, she mocks viewers at one level, while bearing a sensuous smile in the flesh.  

Five musician creatures atop a trumpeting fish make merry in this ceramic sculpture by Lisa Glaser  titled "Tune-a-fish"

On the right, Patricia Preston Warren's "Hommage to John Prine's So...your flag decal". Here the idea if music is more abstract, in spite of the realism of a photograph. It also puts it in a social context.

On the left is "Congas", by Charles Axt. This is a close-up of the sculpture, which is about a foot high, showing the details of the figure and his hands upon the skins of the drums.

On the right is another work by Charles Axt, "Sax Dreams", in which the sax player is semingly abstracted by his own music. The colors in this acrylic painting are well-integrated with the composition.

Sarah Thee Campagna, "The Wurlitzer 9000"

On the left is "Wurlitzer 9000" by Sarah Thee Campagna of Cybercraft Robots. [Link]. I watched Frank Strunk III studying this sculpture at length, and did so myself. The 9000 moniker is likely borrowed from 2001: A Space Oddyssey's HAL 9000. There's self-referential redundancy and no small amount of humor in this thing. It has an organ, because it is one. Its "arms" turn valves to regulate/tune itself -- and there are many control wheels to turn. Its eye(s) come out on a stem and it has three legs. It is one feedback-loop machine, much like us humans. same with the tubing, though Wurlitzer 9000's is closed at the bottom end (I think). What this little machine is about is expression, which makes me wonder if it's not in some way a metaphor for the artist.

On the left is "Cross-Pollination" by James Grey, an impressive pen-and-ink drawing. Here, the guitar takes on the role of the World Tree, fertilizing itself and everything around it. The details in this work made me wish it had been hung lower so they could be more fully appreciated.

Congratulations to Rob Davidson for hosting and Patricia Preston Warren for curating this show.

--- Luis

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Arsonist Strikes Gaudi's Sagrada Familia Basilica

A man walked into the Sagrada Familia Basilica in Barcelona, went into the sacristy and sprayed the priests' vestments with a flammable substance, and lit a fire. The 1,500 tourists present were evacuated, four needed treatment for smoke inhalation. Reportedly the sacristy is destroyed, and the crypt is damaged. I hope this doesn't result in greatly reduced tourist revenue on which the completion of the project depends.

The arsonist was restrained by tourists and arrested. Back in 1936, anarchist-arsonists attacked the building, destroying a lot of Gaudi's plans and maquettes.

Source: [Link]

"Saints and Sinners" @ Chris Parks' Pale Horse Design and Gallery

Chris Parks, of Pale Horse Design and Gallery, is a graphic designer and illustrator with an impressive list of clients. He is also a standout fine artist working in various media, most of his work having a strong graphic element. Chris is a friendly, down-to-earth unassuming local figure with a strong, quiet presence and a welcoming smile on his face.

Chris Parks, "Worker"

Initially, the title -- and Chris' own description, which reads: "“Saints and Sinners” is a new collection of works by Pale Horse, focused on the dichotomy, duality and conflict between good and evil." leads viewers to think, "Saint? or Sinner?", but soon one realizes that these figures are both, just like the rest of us. The duality, dichotomy and conflict exists in all of us. This body of work goes further. In the portrait-like figurative ones, we see the beginnings of a typology, as in "Worker", the image above. The man is radiating lightning bolts of (creative?) energy from his head, halo-style. He is an illustrated man, his body is covered in tattoos, which some might find riddled with bias and baggage. His T-shirt tells us he perhaps identifies with ice skaters, and the tattoo on his fingers convey a humane message.

Chris Parks, "Sweet Nurse"

On the left, we see a continuation of this budding typology, "Sweet Nurse". Again, another 20-something covered in tattoos, simultaneously Saint and Sinner. The figures are also forcing us to question our own ideas about biases and identity.
Chris Parks, "Menace to Society"

On the right, we can see this idea expressed very clearly. The title "Menace to Society" is belied by the sweet disposition and loving look of the pit bull depicted.

The Pale Horse Design and Gallery Space

Chris Parks, "La Calavera de Catrina"

This work's title translates to "Catrina's Skull". Is it the personification of Hurricane Katrina? The name, spelled with a "C" is the spanish version. Simultaneously seductive and deadly looking, the duality present in the other works is also here.

 The centerpiece of the show is "The Last Fiesta", a version of Leonardo's Last Supper recontextualized into Mexico, with the Disciples decked out in Lucha Libre Masks, eating tortillas, tacos and chimichangas not bread, all printed on 12 skateboards. Chris told me that on a trip to Mexico, he couldn't help but notice how different styles in Art coexist in the present, and this is where he got the idea. I should also mention that Chris is knowledgeable and fluent in magico-religious symbolism. 

To the left is a close-up showing Jesus and the Apostle to his right in the picture (apologies for the glare, not even a polarizer helped). Note the Lucha Libre masks on both. JC is having a giant taco (no reference to this blog!) and a Corona with the requisite lime. Make no mistake, this is no parody nor satire. It may not have the gravity of the original, but it's there.

Below, another close-up of the Apostles to the viewer's left of the picture, the first two panels from the left.

Also below, the third and fourth panel from the left. Note the Mexican food on the table. One detail I noticed, but did not photograph is the footwear of the figures. They're wearing expensive tennies or two-tone patent leather Mexican dress shoes.

Bravo to Chris Parks for this show. As usual, it is first-class , beautifully executed and nothing if not challenging.

--- Luis