Houston-We Have Lift Off

Food-a-palooza, Spider-rama and the pokey little people.

There were surprisingly few artists out and about last night as I walked to the pick up point (so, you know, TheMan doesn’t roll over the giant celery art) and most of the tents were already up and battened down so I could not get a preview peek at the merchandise. Bastards. I did see a couple of really cool things on the way though. The first was the giant 10 foot grumpy warrior statue. I moseyed over to give him a good look see and he is big. And mean. And Uuuugly (as all metal sculpted cranky warrior guys should be) and as I was standing there thinking “Gosh, he has got to be at least ten feet high and his chest is at least four feet wide.” I noticed that he also looms forward a tad and suddenly I decided that a ten high four wide looming cranky metal warrior statue might weigh an awful lot. And guess who was on the downward side of said looming metal warrior dude? Sometimes the synapses just don’t fire right away. Ah-hem.

A lot of the load in clutter had been cleared out so I got to see some other neat things, like a gargantuan spider poking about the diag. The thing had a three foot spider-ameter (that would be the length of the biggest part of the spider body) and at least a fifteen foot spread of legs. It was one of those daddy long leg type spider guys. I am going to have to get me pics of these. It also fueled the need to find the buffalo, bear and sauhaugin from the flat bed truck (I have no doubt that spider monster is the same guy’s art) but they were all at the other end of the street where the metal work guy set up which was about a block or two away. Eh, so much for my high adventure. They were pretty cool though and something that I don’t remember form other Art Fairs in that they were set up more like an exhibit rather than a sales booth. Mostly the artist’s stuff is in pretty close proximity to the artist.

This morning I had to be in early (long story, moot point; hour and a half lunch as a result. There, e.e. cummings strikes again!) and the traffic was already starting to get ugly. 7:15 am with 8:00 traffic patterns is not cool. Not in my book. Ugh. I expect that this evening, long about rush hour and beyond there is going to be a big ugly traffic snarl trying to get out of town. There always is. We did get to see an amusing paint job on the rock that said “Voldermort Lives; Bushes are from Slythern”. Yeah, it has nothing to do with Art Fair other than it appeared painted as such this morning but that was about the only interesting thing I got to see. Unfortunately the artists remained all bundled up in their tents and did not let me have a sneak preview this morning either (bastards). I saw maybe three booths of stuff plus the iron works guy’s stuff, which is too big to fit under a tent. He does a lot of rabbits as well. I’m going to have to figure out what that is about. I did discover that the blindingly pink booth of Yesterday is a sweetened almonds and nuts and whatnot booth. Mmmm, food.

Food. Ahhh, food. I tripped out to the food-a-palooza for lunch today and got some broccoli cheese soup in a bowl. I waited for three days in line as the slow as molasses server tended the thirteen thousand really confused out of towners that were all in front of me and finally paid my $5 and sped off to the quad to eat. Did I mention what a wonderful day (in the quad) it is today? Daaaaaamn. It was fine in the sun (not that I sat in the sun, mind you) and down right blissful in the shade. I sat and ate under a tree and thoroughly enjoyed myself, mostly. The soup was scorched which was a bit of a downer but you can’t beat eating in a huge grassy well manicured, shady place with only eight people sharing your space while the 14 million other people wander about outside clueless. Love that LS architecture intimidation thing the quad has going on. I thought about going back for funnel cakes but decided maybe later and set out to check out the Fair.

I walked 3 blocks up, two blocks over and back but only half of that was art. I forgot that further up State street gets you into the sales stuff and I was only about the art this run through. I saw a lot of pottery, wood working, all sorts of painting, some stained glass including the kaleidoscope guy, some metal work and lots of jewelry. Oh and woven stuff. One thing I saw that confused me was these stuffed quilt material sock things. Hundreds of them in million of brilliant colors and I have no idea what they were for. I don’t even know if they were decorative or functional I was that clueless about them. There were also booths of stuff I wouldn’t consider art. At least good art. Most of them were pottery things. I don’t get pottery. There was one booth o’ pottery that was pretty cool but the wares were these abstract slabs of solid colored ceramic shapes bonded to each other very impressionistically like. Not your standard pottery thing going on there, PLUS some of the things were clocks. I could buy one of those and be happy with it. Is it just me or do other people look at a pottery soap dispenser and ask themselves why it’s art?

I stopped at a total of 7 booths I think, two glass works ones, two wood carvings ones and three Asian style water color painting ones. The rest were just that uninteresting or so totally appalling that I sped right on by. I tell you what’s jarring-that neon colored pottery stuff. YiiiIKES! It makes my brain hurt and who buys that and where do they put it after they do? (Heh, I have a suggestion.) Tarnation, folks! I can’t think of a decorative scheme other than neon loud where you would look at one of these things and say “Oh Look! That would go perfect with X thing!” Eeeeeeaaaahhh. I guess every one has different tastes (and some people have none. Seriously, you melt a box of Crayola brights onto a cereal bowl and wala! That’s what I’m talking about).

Wait, the total number of booths is actually nine; I forgot the two bird booths. Under the parking structure there was a booth that had stone carved birds, which was pretty cool. The birds were realistically carved and I love stone anyway and some of them were in multi pieces of stone. Next to the stone birds was a really good pencil sketch artist (although I swear some of her drawings looked like penciled photos. She either is a talented copy artist or she is just that good, I can’t say), followed by another carved birds booth (these were in wood). I bet they are the only two carved birds dealers in the entire Fair(s) and they are practically next to each other. I think the wood birds were more realistic but then again, wood is easier to carve than stone so the wood birds tended to have more detail.

Finally, I’d like to wax a little about the best thing I found yet at Art Fair. I walked by one booth that did wrought iron stuff and on the ground they had these stand up stick figure kitties with bent tails. They were functional art and the tails were bent just right so as to hold a roll of toilet paper. *snicker* They cracked my shit up. Especially the really confused look on the kitties faces. All of them had the classic “Bauwr?!??” look going in spades. Heh! Now I want one of those beasties for my bathroom if only so I can get a good giggle every time I got some toilet paper. A kitty and a gnome (you know what kind) would make my life complete.

What annoyed the shit out of me was the people. Man, the only saving grace there is the fact that I am taller than most people and can both walk at a normal pace and look over several people’s pokey heads as I zip past the stalls. Granted, people don’t usually do Art Fair like I tend to but I don’t like being stuck any longer at a stupid or row of stupid booths than I have to. There are a lot of ho-hum booths I would just rather pass up yet 98% of the other people are doing this geologic drift-by taking everything in (and making color memory dupes in triplicate AND slides while burning the experience in mpg and jpeg format to review in their heads later). People, you are going to have brain overload if you look at too much art! I am surprised they don’t have black booths set up for these people who are going to, sooner or later, pop a neuron and have to have a little quiet time away from the art. You can see it in their faces with the glazed eyes and slightly confused look.

Oi, today’s outing was only an hour…I have no idea how I am going to cope with 4+ hours of art tomorrow afternoon. I may have to take my own little portable black booth and have a sit down or two. I might buy a picture I saw at one of the Asian watercolor booths, I will drag TheMan over to a photography booth that had these very awesome urban still life shots AND there is the definite possibility that tomorrow’s update will have Art Fair pics. At least I’ll post some pics of looming metal cranky warrior guy and the spider-rama, they are just too cool to not get on…errmmm…digital? Disc? Damnit, I like the expression “get on film” and it’s becoming obsolete. Whatever, stay tuned for day two!

One Response to “Houston-We Have Lift Off”

  1. Photo Matt Says:

    Get snaps of? I guess that works… I’ll do what I can to scout things out tomorrow morning so that we can do a whirlwind tour tomorrow afters… Anything to prevent neuron poppage!