Thursday, January 31, 2013

This Warm Bodies Weekend, Jan 31st-Feb 3rd

The days have been beautiful.

First Saturday Indie Market on the 600 block - This relaxed First Saturday sidewalk market has grown to be a delightful event with some of the best creatives in the city selling reasonably priced works in a great setting.



A Couple of Ways of Doing Something: Chuck Close @ FMoPA - Acclaimed artist portraitist Chuck Close, who has explored the genre in depth is exhibited at FMoPA. fifteen of his works will be shown. Opens Thursday, Jan 31st @ 6 PM. Admission $10 for non members.400 N. Ashley Dr., Tampa.


A Night of Experimental Film @ C. Emerson Gallery - 


First Friday Focus: Herb Snitzer @ Leepa Rattner - Snitzer's famous 1994 portrait of Miles Davis will be presented. Admission $5, $4 for seniors. Suggested donation on Sunday. 600 Klosterman Rd. Tarpon Springs.


Bodo Art Gallery Opening February 1st.


The Bodo Art Gallery, at 2311 Central (across from Taco Bus and next door to Artissin), will have its official opening Friday, February 1 with a reception/party from 7 to 9 pm.   The gallery space is a white cube, 20 by 80 feet, with 16 foot ceilings—enough room for an inspired collection of giclees, original art, origami, and an assortment of healing and nurturing lotions, oils, and essences.  One half of the wall space is dedicated to original art, while the other half is comprised of giclees, posters, and other reproductions. 
Oanh Do, a native of Vietnam but a longtime resident of St Petersburg, is a multi-talented conceptual artist specializing in origami, flower arrangement, and party planning.  Because of her longtime residence in St Petersburg, she has contacts with dozens of local artists and hopes to have their works displayed as much as possible.


Florida Heat Instructor Work Exhibition @ Morea Arts Center for Clay - The work of artists participating in the Florida Heat Firing Symposium is shown. Through Feb 24th. Free. 420 22nd St. S. St. Petrsburg 10:00 - 5 PM Thursday - Saturday and Tuesday - Wed.

To See As Artists See: American Masterpieces from the Philips Collection @ Tampa Museum -
100 American paintings from a top museum n display. This promises to be a great show.

The Big Picture: Cirkut Images at Tampa History Center - Pictures by the Burgert Brothers Studio from the area. 801 Old Water St., Tampa.


Electronics Alive VII -  The Seventh biennial exhibition of Digital Art at University of Tampa's Scarfone;Hartley gallery. Through Feb 22. At UT's Bailey Art Studios. Tampa. Free.



Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Home for the Holidays: The de la Torre Brothers @ Mindy Solomon Gallery.

Jamex and Einar de la Torre, "Greed Talisman"
Einar and Jamex de la Torre were born in Guadalajara, Mexico in the early 60's and moved with their mother to California a decade later. They led a binary life between the two countries and cultures, and have developed a global awareness in their work.


On the left is "Greed Talisman". A talisman is something bespoke made to protect a specific person(s), thing(s) or place(s). It is an al rondo composition, with a central portion, a flaming horned devil, with... (see below) 

Greed Talisman close-up 

Greed Talisman detail
....the words "greed" and "go" in its eyes. Around it a sensationally jagged "halo" in yellow. (On right) Surrounding that devil face are six canoe-shaped spaces defined by strings of toy pearls. Three on either side. On the right is a close-up of one. Note the yellow background, the pennies floating in it. Above, an European head, below, something out of a Mayan Stela (Palenque?). The two worlds.

 Their work is mainly baroque in the Latin American tradition, which is derived directly from European trends brought over during the early colonial period, and a Postmodern pastiche of many kinds, including Aztec, Asian, American, Mexican, etc. The work is flamboyant in color, form and concept, gleefully irreverent, powerfully intelligent, blending the sacred and profane with what at first glance might appear impulsive and perhaps random intent. In reality, they use these symbols and signifiers with surgical precision, albeit in an over-the-top manner.

Jamex and Einar de la Torre "El Cakeito"
 "El Cakeito", above, (the little cake) made of archival print(s), resin, objects and mixed media, involves the Goddess Tara [Link] in the middle panel, covered in graffiti. On the angled side panels are depicted Japanese storefront windows with fake plastic cakes on graffiti-covered shelves.Clear glass faces, some looking hungry rest over the cakes.

"El Cakeito", Detail of one face.

A She-Buddha, plastic cakes and the hungry. The artists often present us with unreconciled paradoxes or opposites, leaving it up to the viewers.

These works place demands on the viewers. Walk 360 degrees around each one, pay attention and crouch to scrutinize every bit. The brothers' iconographic overload (bordering on horrovacuity) has rewarding surprises in store for the astute viewer. There is a wealth of elements to every work, including some (more or less) hidden ones. I have learned to pore over their works, specially the pedestal pieces, no matter how small or large.

Jamex and Einar de la Torre, "Tanque You"

On the left is "Tanque You", Which translates out to "Tank You", a play on words. The tank is part head, lips locked around the phallic cannon barrel. Look closer. The "tracks" of the Tanque are precisely the color of and look like strips of flesh.The cannon's sight is way off center.

"Tanque You", detail

Look at the front of the tank. There is a Rubik's Cube and a royal symbol: A Fleur-du-Lis. One Divine Right and the other with innumerable permutations, but only one "solution". On the right is a plaque at the bottom front of the tanque. Does anyone know what it means?

Energy abounds in de la Torre works. The future jetstreaming into the present at a rate that is hard to assimilate, in a manner reminiscent of the torrential rate of information flowing into our lives from the Web, with the quality of a throbbing human heart.

Jamexand Einar de la Torre, "Rally du Mort"

In "Rally du Mort" (Rally of Death) we have a golden car driven by what seems like a Mayan Death Deity. This is an extraordinary piece, even within the de la Torre oeuvre.

Detail of side of driver figure
Each work carries a plurality of potential narratives and revelations, all fluidly shifting depending on where you stand physically and spiritually in relation to the pieces.

Some are just formal epiphanies like this detail of the side of the driver/deity. This is an exquisitely sensuous part of this work. Not the kind one ties himself to the mast to hear safely, but dives and swims towards the rocks to savor.

Detail of wheel/tire

Look at the wheels. There are six blue heads in each one. The tires roll on what one of our presidents referred to as "brown ones".

Detail, hood ornament.

The hood ornament is a European man's head, perhaps a conquistador's head. Here one might think they know this work, that this is ample, and there is nothing else to be seen, but they would be wrong.

Angle yourself to the side of the driver figure and look down between the dash/steering wheel to the floor. Where the accelerator would be is this white Death's Face, Laughing. A hidden secret in this work of art, and many of the works there have them, too. This one got my attention.

A lot of binaries in these works. Paradoxes. It's a marginal Cosmology, an intensely human one.

Congratulations to Jaimex and Einar de la Torre and to Mindy Solomon for a very good show.

--- Luis

This show runs through Feb 2nd.

Mindy Solomon Gallery
124 2nd Ave. NE
St. Petersburg, FL 33701

ph 727.502.0852
Gallery Hours
Wed-Sat: 11am - 5pm
Monday: Closed
Tuesday: By Appointment

Salvador Dali's Cat

Salvador Dali had a cat named Babou. It was an ocelot from Colombia that he took wherever he went, including dinner, walks and transatlantic cruises (!).


   --- Luis

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Seen/Scene: Crislip Arcade afternoon

I went by the Crislip Arcade late one afternoon and ran into....

...Amy Marshall jewelry artist and owner of  Strands of Sunshine and painter Bill Drugan, who has his own gallery in the Crilip Arcade, where this photo was taken. 

                                                Jay Herre was busy at work in his gallery....

Dysfunctional Grace Art Company's Liz Williams was busy making branches for The Tree of Life out of chain link wire, but took a second for the camera.

Thanks to all for making time for a quick portrait. The Crislip Arcade, where one can buy art, and see it being made.

---- Luis

Street Art: Mystery Mural

This appeared a couple of weeks ago in the alley on the N. side of Central Ave on the 600 block, behind Misred [Link]. It looks like it was done in a hurry by an experienced and very good muralist.

Artist unknown

                                           Red rose, Blue rose, wise-looking Owl.

Right half.

Left Half

Congratulations to the artist for a fine mural.

--- Luis

Greek Erotica @ Museum of Fine Arts

[From Spathos, via Tracy Kennard]

Greek Erotica
February 5, 2013
5:00 pm to 9:00 pm

For adults 21 and older.

This fully-illustrated Valentine’s Day lecture presents aspects of Greek erotic representation by introducing the cult of Aphrodite and suggesting the ways in which the Cnidian Aphrodite by Praxiteles in the fourth century BC revolutionized the depiction of the goddess of love.

Ancient Greek Erotica: An evening with Aphrodite
Dr Robert Steven Bianchi is currently chief curator of the Fondation Gandur pour l’Art/Genève. He has frequently lectured about and published several articles treating aspects of ancient erotica.

Desirable displays in the glass Conservatory, with couture by Spathose in partnership with local hair and makeup artists.

A visual delight of the outrageous as you wonder in the artistry that only true collaboration can bring to the Gods! A Spectacle for the Senses!

Kristine Marcum- VLVT Salon
Samantha Smith- Cutting Loose Salon
Chris Kiss- Chris Kiss Hair

Walking Works of Wearable Art.

Card Readings by Michael Wells.

Henna tattoos by Jen.

Extravagant photo ops!

Marlene Glickman Dye your own sensual silk scarf in minutes!

Exotic Wood Furnishings by Funktionhouse Urban Lumber & Furnishings

Keep St. Pete Local

Tantalizing Tastes from the Savory Spice Shop

Jewelry Designs by Cynthia Samaha.

Chocolate tastings by Viktoria Richards.

Dreamy music courtesy of Harpist Zoe Bocik.

Libidinous lecture in the Marly Room at 6:30pm.

Chocolate fountain and Champagne in the Conservatory following the lecture.

Full cash bar.

The Galleries will be open.

This event was a sell-out last year.

No reservations, first-come, first-served.
$15 members, $25 nonmembers

Presented by the Education Department and the Museum Store.

Monday, January 28, 2013

Ten Years of Calligraphy by Ruth Pettis @ Eckerd College

Ten Years of Calligraphy by Ruth Pettis. January 27th to March 15th. Eckerd College, Cobb Gallery. At 4200 54th Ave. S. Free admission.

--- Luis

Chuck Close Exhibit at FMoPA

Opens Thursday, January 31st
A Couple of Ways of Doing Something:
 Photographs by Chuck Close/Poems by Bob Holman

January 31, 2013 - March 31, 2013
Chuck Close 
Self-Portrait, 2006 © Chuck Close.  Courtesy Pace/MacGill, New York
Made in collaboration with David Adamson Editions
Exhibition organized by Aperture Foundation, New York

Opening Reception, Thursday, January 31st    6pm - 8pm

Lecture by Deli Sacilotto, Sunday, February 3rd   2pm

Poetry Reading/Book Signing by Bob Holman
Thursday, March 28th   7pm

Bodo Art Gallery Opening February 1st.


The Bodo Art Gallery, at 2311 Central (across from Taco Bus and next door to Artissin), will have its official opening Friday, February 1 with a reception/party from 7 to 9 pm.   The gallery space is a white cube, 20 by 80 feet, with 16 foot ceilings—enough room for an inspired collection of giclees, original art, origami, and an assortment of healing and nurturing lotions, oils, and essences.  One half of the wall space is dedicated to original art, while the other half is comprised of giclees, posters, and other reproductions. 
Oanh Do, a native of Vietnam but a longtime resident of St Petersburg, is a multi-talented conceptual artist specializing in origami, flower arrangement, and party planning.  Because of her longtime residence in St Petersburg, she has contacts with dozens of local artists and hopes to have their works displayed as much as possible.
The giclee art features large, mainly abstract works from Leftbank Art, the premier progressive producer of fine giclee reproductions in the United States.   Bob  Regli was the principal art buyer for Treehouse Gallery in St Petersburg , and was fortunate to study art history in Florence, Italy.  “I’ve been visiting the art dealers’ galleries in High Point (North Carolina) and Atlanta for the past eleven years, where I bought a lot of Tuscan landscapes and other works that seemed to go with the rustic furniture.  This gives me a chance to bring in works that are more edgy and abstract, and of course beautiful.  It’s hard to really categorize them, except that they are pictures I like.  And Leftbank Art does amazing work with their selection of artists and the gel finishes that they have developed.  Seeing this industry evolve over the past decade has been eye opening.”
Bodo Gallery hopes to offer other services after the gallery closes for the day, including healing arts such as massage, spiritual readings, and classes, and to produce shows for local artists, great parties, and special events.  .
 For further information, email the Gallery at, send a message on the Bodo Gallery Facebook page,  or call Bob Regli at 727 272 7369.

Sunday, January 27, 2013

Evenings in Wonderland: The Attack of the 50 foot Woman

All in the golden afternoon
Full leisurely we glide:
For both our oars, with little skill,
By little arms are plied,
While little hands make vain pretence
Our wanderings to guide.  --- Charles Luttwig Dodgson.


The evening was a little on the cold side. It could have been anywhere in the world, like Hoxton, Mayfair, Otsuka, Ginza, The Marais or Avignon, but it was much closer to home.  The long-awaited, well-Facebooked group show had the usual fabulous double-entendre title, lightly flirting with semiotics. Rigid, egalitarian geometrics and tradition recontextualized. Populist with rich toppings, there was something for everyone, and it looked like they all came.

I spoke with the Fishers, K & Q, about her mother's hair.  The blonde attorney, beautifully hosed and heeled traded talk, smiles and cards with me. Outside, fashionable, frustrated talk. Money, blogs and tripods. Unintentionally offended someone because I did not remember them. So many people to remember. The Smith, as usual, gave me illuminating insights as to the local history of the arts in few words. One of the M&M's was sick, the other two angelic. A connection I had been trying to make for CC unsuccessfully, happened on its own. Hopefully a show will come of it. D., I wanted to see you.

There were several out-of-towners visiting, or in transit, looking a little wistful at what they would leave behind. Energy went around the room like heat lightning on a summer's evening. Red and her sister dazzled. The tidal pull of the Moon in her painting seemed to influence the crowd, as it pulsated, at times spilling widely into the street.

Ran into a cow (skull) rancher on the sidewalk and talked about her bright future. Inside all the available roles for artists and viewers played on. But all the art was not on the walls. With something borrowed, under a full moon, a brilliant, humorous and daring bit of feminist performance art happened --- in a blink. Almost everyone missed it.

Stopped at a restaurant, ate a leisurely dinner with a trio of delightful companions. The evening ended up at a Neomodern juke joint in the WAD taking pictures of a good singer/musician in a black midriff top and red lycra undies while dodging wild dancers. The smell of Montana lead outside, where a dedicated artist painted over his own mural in the dead of night.

--- Luis


Saturday, January 26, 2013

The Arts Car of St. Pete: Addendum

[From Malcom Johnson, friend, arts activist, documentary photograher and former correspondent to Art Taco]

"  The art cars remind me of the van murals in the 1980's.   One of the best artists was the late Jimmy Bryant of St. Pete. About two years ago, I saw one his paint jobs on a van in a shopping center. By the time I got back to take a picture, it was gone. There were a number of mural vans in the 'Nite Rider Van Club' of St. Pete. They had a clubhouse somewhere on 49 St. S.  They have had an annual ball and the last one I know of was held about two years ago at the Coliseum.  I do not know if they are still active. "

--- Malcom Johnson

(I couldn't find pictures of these vans. If anyone knows where they can be found, please let me know)

Thursday, January 24, 2013

In the Current Creative Loafing

The cover and an article inside on the Warehouse Arts District (WAD), with WAD-istas  photographed onstage at the Venture Compound. Notice Duncan let his picture be taken.

 Best quotes from the article:

From Jesse Vance: "We want artists to stay in Saint Pete, and we want people to buy their shit."

Brad Kokay: "We want to open their minds like a can of corn."

Jesse Vance: "If you can't have a good time without substances..."

From T. Hampton Dorman: "It's what you see in in creative commerce books. It's a case study playing out in real time". (Quoting Richard Florida's decade-old study, published as The Creative Class.) 

Inside, Blue Lucy's Signs show got picked as one of the weekend must-gos

Congratulations to the WADistas and to Blue Lucy. A year ago, I was one of the first to review the Venture Compound. Glad to see CL giving them some love.

--- Luis

This Pirated Weekend, Jan.24th - 27th

I live two blocks from Bayshore, the Gasparilla parade route. My next-door neighbor is having a beer pong party to commemorate the event. This means I will be fleeing the area for the day. My cat will be totally spooked, needing therapy after listening to gunshots and cannon fire for hours. All of this to commemorate a plundering rapist pirate that never came to Tampa. Let's see what there is to escape to. 


Star Signs @ Blue Lucy - Chad Mize and Phillip Clark bring us twelve artists, each with works based on a Zodiacal sign.
OPENING Saturday, January 26, 2013 6-10PM
Exhibit runs 01.26.13 – 02.16.13
FREE to attend

That's quite a line-up, and if reality lives up to half the FB hype this should be a good show.


Carousel No.1Carousel, @ Creative Loafing Space - A slide show with the works of ten photographers, including James and Julie Branaman, Edward Linsmier, Chip Litherland, Kym O'Donnell Edmund Fountain, Bob Croslin and Chip Litherland. Each will get a 3-5 min. slide show. Remember those? At the Creative Loafing Space, 1911 N. 13th Street in Ybor Square, above the Spaghetti Warehouse. Admission: $3 (suggested). Thursday, January 24th, starts @ 7:00 PM.



Photographer Laureate Ric Savid @ AIA - Rick Savid's hand printed black and white portraits of Tampanians is shown at the American Institute of Architects space at 200 N. Tampa St. # 100. Free admission. Opens Thursday, January 24th, 5:30-7:30. Free admission.



(ongoing) Farming, Family, and Folk Art: Ruby C. Williams @ Gallery 221, HCC Dale Mabry - This Central Florida artist has shown at The Smithsonian Anacostia Museum in Washington DC, been awarded a Florida Folk Heritage Award and many other accolades. Her roots go deep in Floridian history and she will be showing a wide variety of work. Gallery 221's director is familiar with Folk art, so this should be good. All at HCC Dale Mabry, 4001 W. Tampa Blvd. Free admission. I have seen this show, will be reviewing it soon, and can recommend it without reservation.



(ongoing) Rocky Bridges @ HCC Ybor - Bridges is a mostly metal mixed-media artist.  Free admission. I recently saw this show, will be reviewing it, and recommend it without reservation.


Art Festival Beth-El - This show has a sterling reputation and with good reason: quality. It has a great sampling of strong art from established as well as emerging artists. This is their 40th anniversary. With 150 (!) artists and $7000 prize money. Opens Sunday, January 26th. Also open Monday the 27th. Free admission.


Work by Leslie Neumann

Carrie Jadus and Leslie Neumann @ Nuance Tampa - Leslie Neumann's encaustic work has been reviewed here before, and she has been interviewed here as well [Link], [Link], [Link]. Carrie Jadus, a St. Pete based oil painter whose work has been reviewed here before is the other half
of of this duo show at Nuance Galleries, 804 S. Dale Mabry. Opening is 6-9 PM, Friday, January 25th. Free admission. The artists will give a talk on Saturday, Jan. 26th, starting at 1:00 PM.


Florida Heat: Instructor Work Exhibition @ The Morean - Works from participants in the Florida Heat Firing Symposium are shown. Morean Art Center for Clay, 420 22nd St. St. Pete. Free admission. 10 AM - 5 PM Friday,


[From the Venture Compound...]

Thx Mgmt & The Venture Compound Proudly Present
Saturday, January 26th 2013
9pm - $7 - 18+


Nashville, Tennessee based high energy super posi electronic dance party filled with sing a longs and sweat.


Chicago's never ending touring and recording one man band that creates elaborate, beautiful pop songs overflowing with hooks and sentimentality


Dubsleep: The new genre a generation is sleeping on.


2621 Fairfield Ave. S., Saint Petersburg, Florida 33712

Bone, a Collective Study @ The Bends

' bone- a collective study'

***Opening Night Jan 25th 7pm***

Featuring works of art by:
Madi Tisch
Laura Spencer
Kaison Johnson
Renee Marie Little
Tony Vouis
Nicole Morris

DJ Nick Lennon Opening Night.

Only at...
The Bends
919 1st Ave N
St.Petersburg, FL


 Last Chance to View: 

Dorothea Lange's America
Mario Algaze:  Cuba 1999-2000
on display through Sunday, January 27th
Migrant Mother - Dorothea Lange Amanecer en Matanzas
Photo credits: Migrant Mother, Nipomo, California, 1936 by Dorothea Lange. From the private collection of Michael Mattis and Judith Hochberg, courtesy of Art2Art.   Amanecer en Matanzas, Matanzas, Cuba 1999-2000 © Mario Algaze 

Iconic photographs of the Great Depression by Dorothea Lange and captivating images of Cuba by Mario Algaze are a must see
at FMoPA this weekend*!  


Fish Out of Water: Diane Gugliotta and Mark Mitchell @ Gugliotta Gallery

Fish Out Of Water | reception and showDiane Gugliottta is pleased to announce a new show and opening reception at her gallery in historic Pass-A-Grille featuring the work of conceptual pop painter Mark Mitchell.

Reception and Meet the Artist

Reception to coincide with Pass-A-Grille’s block party called “Party Under the Lights”. For more information go to:

Show runs January 26 - February 28, 2013

Gugliotta Gallery
104B Eight Avenue
Pass-A-Grille, FL 33706

[Post in progress]


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