PaperCity Magazine

May 2013 - Houston

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Opposite and this page: Black power, an M16 in bubblegum and portraits of gravitas: Robert Pruitt Because: He's carries forward the legacy of Dr. John Biggers. This Texas Southern University grad — who holds an MFA from UT and was a Skowhegan artist in residence — catapulted to national renown thanks to dual appearances as a member of Otabenga Jones and as an individual artist in the 2006 Whitney Biennial. Pruitt, whose bubblegum-encased M16 sums up the power and prowess of his sculpture, is alternatively best known for sensitive conté, charcoal and silver-leaf portraits drawn on hand-dyed paper that document the African-American experience. Stay tuned — comic collaboration: After this spring's solo at Miami project space General Audience Presents, Pruitt is readying for his September headliner at L.A. gallery Koplin Del Rio, where he'll unveil new photographs, drawings and costumes for a comic-book collaboration with UH professor/graphic novelist Mat Johnson. Represented by Hooks-Epstein Gallery, Houston, and Koplin Del Rio Gallery, Los Angeles. Zegna Sport polo shirt $245, and black denim $295, both at the Ermenegildo Zegna boutique, M Penner, Neiman Marcus. Jimmy Choo mirrored high-top sneakers $465, at Neiman Marcus, Saks Fifth Avenue. Tomatoes, tutus and a childhood in East Texas: Nancy Douthey Because: One of the few artists who sashays into the performing arena, the fearless Douthey has enacted her haunting cathartic numbers slathered in peaches and sugar or after rolling in rotting tomatoes and flour while enrobed in a frothy tutu (the latter, seen this past January in Chicken Dinner Remix performed at Blue Star Contemporary Art Museum in San Antonio). We've also been won over by her one-person theatrical dramas that address her small-town East Texas heritage, first glimpsed at alternative Houston incubator The Joanna. A founding member of the Performance Art Lab and a collaborator with Jacinda Russell on a girls' photographic road trip that sized up male-artist earthworks (exhibited during FotoFest 2010 at powerhouse Texas Gallery), Douthey's other obsessions include her alter ego, Tammy Faye. Next set — center stage Lawndale: Friday, May 10, Douthey's cinematic sculpture and video are highlighted at the legendary Lawndale Art Center in Round Seven, the 2012-2013 artists in residence (through June 15). Holly Fulton Norma shirt $993, and Rita trousers, both at Laboratoria. Manolo Blahnik Primula pump $645, at Neiman Marcus, Nordstrom, Saks Fifth Avenue.

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