The first Anti-Trump Art Show in Texas was inaugurated, appropriately enough, on April Fool’s Day.
With 70 exhibits, the show boasts some of Texas’ finest protest-art. And the turnout for the opening night was a welcome sight in this red state. Houstonians poured into world-renowned civil rights attorney Randall Kallinen’s gallery to shock and be shocked. The Kallinen Contemporary sits on the East Side, on the banks of Buffalo Bayou, surrounded by the petrochemical-industrial complex that made Houston the “Energy Capital” of the World.
I asked Randall what motivated Trump! The Art Show. (Note Kallinen's Super Collider in the background above).
“We tried to do something the art establishment in Houston wasn’t willing to do,” he explains. “The show was curated by John Paul Hartman and myself, and we wanted to do something the traditional galleries are too scared to do - tell the truth. We are now living in a time where we have possibly the worst administration this country has ever seen.”
A civil rights attorney by day, Kallinen got his law degree at the University of Houston in 1993. But his passion for art found an expression - first, in his colorful action art splatter-style of painting, and then in the gallery itself - a converted industrial building that serves as the world’s only combination law-office-art-gallery. Kallinen credits his friends John Hartman, Angel Quesada, Solomon Kane, Lester Marks, and the late Bert L. Long Jr., for helping him see the light of art. Quesada (pictured in the cowboy hat, at the very top of this article) and Hartman were the driving forces behind the actual design, layout and installation of the show.
As I walk around the show, I am surprised by the cheerfulness of both the gallery visitors and the artists themselves (Art is group therapy in the Age of Trump). The art work is entertaining, but there’s a message behind every work.
Here’s a sampling:
Redacted Oath of Office 5 by Felipe Contreras
Driver’s Seat by John Linden
Free Speech by Solomon Kane
Disassembling the Wall by Mic McAllister
Contaminated Democracy by Norola Morgan
#Art Resistance Houston by Supér Flaké
Trump, It’s a Ewe by Mojo Johnston
NO RESPECTOR OF PERSONS [TRUMP L'OEIL©] by Dune-Micheli Patten
It’s Silly to be Afraid by Daniel Johnston
Civility and Discourse by Christian Perkins
Internet Troll by Jeanette Whitt
Us and Them by Yamin Cespedes
Trumpfuckery by Christian Sarkar
Car Door Trump by Mike Peterson
Liberty and Justice by David Vander Linden
Cut Out by John Davis
Devil Clown Trump by Sam Van Bibber
Orange Baby by Danielle Alsip
Whitening Agent by John Paul Hartman
Daily Spin by Randall Kallinen
Bert L. Long Jr. Tower (aka Long Tower) by Randall Kallinen
The Refugee ReSister by Dannye Jones
9 0 11 11 by Kenneth Coplan
Trump! The Art Show runs until May 13, 2017.
Closing night is May 13, 2017. See you there: 511 Broadway, Houston Texas 77012.
P.S. - we found Trump’s elusive tax returns (by Angel Quesada):
- Kulturkampf: Trump’s War on the Arts by Philip Kotler
- The Real Value of Government Support for the Arts in the U.S. by Joanne Bernstein
- The “Terrorist” in the White House by Philip Kotler
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