Here’s proof that I am the author of that Glasstire article. That’s the last time I use a courier to deliver my work. Its a little old, but here I present it without any edits.
As a new space in town, The Donkey Show continues both the use of a domestic setting for a gallery and the inclusion of an out-of-town artist as new Austin trends. For the inaugural show, Ali Fitzgerald and San Antonio’s Cruz Ortiz provide a slap it down, throw it up presentation of their work. Both use ink, paper, comic inspired sensibilities and a “…fuck-it” kind of attitude.
Coming ’round the back entrance, I was greeted by Mr. Ortiz’s sound piece. “Ayyy mamacita”, what did I just walk into? I find stark black ink drawings on pure white sheets of letter-sized paper hanging on tweed rope by clothespins. Some larger sheets are scotch-taped to the wall, to make sure they stay flat I guess, as there are multiple fold creases visible. On the floor in the center most part of the L-shaped gallery are two cardboard & scotch-tape sculptures. One is of a rocket and the other is the spanish word, “ganas” in all caps. The imagery ranges from the text “Cumbia Power” to a treasure map akin to a boardgame to portraits of who I call Burro Boy and his chica. The high contrast and simple markmaking look like excerpts from a newspaper comicstrip. This graphic style suits the more fantastical aspects, such as the “map” but fails to convince me of the relationship between Burro Boy and the Donkey Show. Ese burro appears to be autobiographical and just wants to get his “cumbia” on. The sculptures feel like yet a different tangent. It relates in its low-tech construction, but the imagery is not as immediate.
In the other half of the gallery, Ms. Fitzgerald has once again suspended carnivalesque imagery in the space allotted to her. Here we are presented with a more comic book emphasized style of her usual comic book- graffiti handling of imagemaking. On the sidewalls hang cutouts forming a group portrait of what appears to be a donkey-hybrid family. Some characters are wild-eyed and intense, while others clearly have donkey features like large ears or protruding muzzles. Drips are noticeably absent from these works. On the main wall of the gallery, Ms. Fitzgerald provides a panoramic view of a donkey show in action. Inside some smurfy looking cavern, a donkey woman is giving lap dances to some nasty freaks. Site lines attack you from every which character as Ms. Fitzgerald explores this grotesquely hypnotizing voyeuristic power trip. This group of works read as more didactic than previous pieces, but it also seems to lack the exciting sifting of ideas that were maybe brought on by the drips. The lack of drips suggests to me the use of a more cautious process in creating these pieces.
Individually, each artist played with the idea of a donkey show using different avenues of thought. Ms. Fitzgerald was more interested in the power of a gaze, while Mr. Ortiz enjoyed the thrill of the hunt. Placed next to each other, the lure of a forbidden furry fruit tries to link them.
I’ll tell you ’bout what I sees.