So I’ve been in Austin long enough that I know Bob Schneider as one of the city’s darlings. I’m not a music guy and have not seen him perform and although I know his songs occasionally play on the radio, I can’t remember what he sounds like. I only know what he looks like because of that “Buy Austin” campaign that was plastered on every other bus. He’s a musician and considered a true “Austinite”.
I can’t lie. I feared the worst going in to this show. But somehow I was placated knowing that Flatbed Press does good work. So actually, I was going in with open eyes and an open mind. And you know what? Mr. Schneider is not a bad printmaker.
They were all etchings, the prints varied in size and there was even one that consisted of two plates. The imagery was kinda freaky. Not too different from what I expect from a musician. Alot of movement and variety in the compostion. Loopy shapes, a varying degree of markmaking, twisted and fleshy figures, you know, stuff that rock stars dream of. Or so I imagine. The images remind of high school. I think of how my friends were interested in comics and wanted to make movies and wanted to be rock stars. All of those aspirations sort of melded together and became alive in their drawings of twisted human figures or dark gothy cartoons. I think it was just the flooding of sensations during that time that any creative endeavor on their part was influenced by every media, emotion, and creative source they came in contact with. Oh, fun times. In that regard, Mr. Schneider’s prints feel familiar. But it is the lack of randomness that saves them from becoming boring.
The loopy shapes and the sack-like forms look liquidy and meaty at the same time. So they remind me of Trenton Doyle Hancock’s Mounds. The line quality and the faces that emerge from them remind me of comic books, but not really? They are definitely graphic, but I guess its just the pen & ink quality that I’m seeing. The multiple limbs made the creatures dance on the page and provided lyrical repetition.
I remember some text being thrown in there somewhere. Internal organs, orifices, and testicles all combined to make things interesting. The distorted figure can be easily rendered in a generic way, but Mr. Schneider adds elements that kept surprising me. That was good. This exhibiton was GOOD.
I’ll tell you ’bout what I sees.