The staff at Rice Gallery was tasked with keeping the Ana Serrano installation Salon of Beauty under wraps during the month it took the Los Angeles-based artist to complete it. With the piece receiving lots of pre-opening attention, that wasnt easy.
The installation is a recreation of the urban landscape, with each building the artist created for the mini city an artwork in itself. A 98 Cents stores dark building allows colorful block typography to stand out, while a wedding cake shops hot-pink exterior pops against the muted gray burglar bars of the house next door. Oversized bottles of nail polish stand in the window of a nail shop, paired with model hands.
Named after a beauty salon in her Los Angeles neighborhood, this is Serranos largest work to date. Noticeably, the skyline is missing tall, towering buildings. Asked why she created an urban landscape on such a small scale, Serrano explained that she purposely wanted to make a city representative of a lower socioeconomic plane. I wanted people to be able to walk through and see the city as I see it, said the first-generation Mexican-American. 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesdays, Wednesdays, Fridays and Saturdays, 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Thursdays, noon to 5 p.m. Sundays. 6100 Main. For information, call 713-348-6069 or visit www.ricegallery.org. Free.
Tuesdays-Sundays. Starts: Sept. 29. Continues through Dec. 11, 2011