"Fair" Game

At DiverseWorks, curator Diane Barber sends up our city's new obsession with art fairs.

I wish to hell Sanchez and other artists in the show had been a part of the Houston Fine Art Fair and were going to participate in the upcoming Texas Contemporary Fair. If Houston is going to welcome these events, there needs to be something more Houston about them. Box 13's Cabinet of Curiosities in a POD was a great addition to the HFAF, but it was located a safe distance from the gallery booths. And the HFAF did host several performances of Houston artist Anthony Shumate's Capitalist Soup, arranged through his gallerist Barbara Davis's participation in the fair.

Stephanie Saint Sanchez's booth was absurd and over-the-top.
Courtesy of DiverseWorks
Stephanie Saint Sanchez's booth was absurd and over-the-top.

Location Info



4102 Fannin St., Suite 200
Houston, TX 77004

Category: Community Venues

Region: Third Ward


"State Fair"

Through October 29.

The piece included an array of Campbell's Soup cans deftly altered with labels like "Liberty" and "Lucre," and listing contents like "Labor." Shumate displayed them on tables in an American Flag formation and had a guy present it with a "Sham-wow"-esque pitch. But the work wasn't universally appreciated. Apparently, the Rocky "Eye of the Tiger" theme Shumate loudly played before each performance generated complaints from dealers who said it interfered with sales because people left to go see what was happening. According to Shumate, a gallery facing him complained to him directly, apparently saying, "You know I represent Warhol?" "You know I'm from New York?" Shumate said he got (very politely) shut down on the second day by fair Director Fran Kaufman, just before his fourth and final 20-minute presentation. Makes sense. One wouldn't want an actual artist interfering with people selling art...

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