PaperCity Magazine

PaperCity May 2024 Houston

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look at new work. The artist helped him pick out a pair of wall sculptures from his "Parrot Architecture" series, created with the help of his African gray parrot Hannah. "The bird loves to chew boxes, so all the tears are the result of what the bird did, and Joe cast the boxes in bronze and they're quite beautiful," Brown says. They're hung against a chocolate- color wall in the living area, in a grouping that includes an 18th-century distressed Portuguese chest and a sculptural pair of original Biedermeier chairs purchased many years ago for a few hundred dollars out of the back of a pickup truck. "There's wood everywhere in the apartment — my love of organic materials is clearly on display," he says. On the wall above the chest is a dimensional work in wood by Shane Tolbert, one of gallerist Robert McClain's up-and- coming young artists. Brown is struck by the synchronicity of how it looks next to a laser-cut iron sculpture. "My friend Heidi over at Heidi Vaughan Fine Art had this little iron piece that I was obsessing over," Brown recalls, "and one day, I said, 'Heidi, I just need to take this home.' I got it home, and lo and behold, it has the same blue, red, and yellow circles as the Tolbert painting above it. Think about this: Tolbert is young, probably in his 30s, and then the artist that did the sculpture is Dallas-based artist George Tobolowsky, who's about in his 60s. They had no knowledge of one another. Yet, the artwork they turned out was almost like two brothers." Brown's acquisition bucket list is short: anything by Piet Mondrian, Jean-Michel Basquiat, or Flemish portrait artists. Acquiring one of those seems unlikely, so he's always on the lookout for something that comes closest to satisfying the craving. Recently he lucked out. "I came across a small work by the artist W. Tucker at Circuit Gallery in Dallas of a vintage child's chalkboard with a boat and airplane and clown face. The artist works with his non-dominant hand to draw in chalk. It reminds me very much of a Basquiat," he says. The piece came in a simple frame made of what looks like popsicle sticks, and Brown placed the whole thing inside a larger antique frame to give it more gravitas. One of his favorite artworks was discovered at Houston's Texas Contemporary Art Fair. It's a period portrait of a woman that has been ripped either on purpose or by accident. Contemporary artist William P. Immer put Band-Aids over the rips and painted a third eye on the forehead; Think of it as Jan van Eyck meets Andy Warhol. "It's quite bizarre, and it isn't what you think it is at first, but when you see it, you don't forget it," he says. "I can see her with me my whole life." 71

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