Artist Buster Graybill grew up in Conroe, so it's no surprise he's familiar with Texas wildlife. Using sculpture, photography and video, Graybill's ''Feral'' exhibit at Art League Houston captures that natural splendor and gives it a twist. Graybill created several minimalist geometric sculptures that also function as wild-animal feeders. He calls the feral sculptures ''Tush Hogs.'' Via press materials, Graybill explains their origins: ''They evolved from a Donald Judd sculpture that escaped from the Chinati Foundation in Marfa, Texas. Without curators, collectors or conservators to comfort and care for the sculptures, they quickly developed a more rugged diamond-plated armor and more muscular stature to survive in the wild. The exhibition tracks the evolution of these hybrid objects as they traverse the rural landscape and endure attacks by wild hogs, deer, rams and critics over a [three]year period.''
Graybill says, ''I designed and fabricated the sculpture/feeders from the ground up. In the beginning, I was making full-size cardboard models and crawling on my hands and knees, trying to think and move like a wild hog to make sure the feeders would actually work.'' Observing the animals over three years, Graybill formed emotional attachments to his subjects. ''The most endearing group of animals was the wild rams, who had a turf war of sorts with the wild hogs. In an effort to 'guard' [the feeders], they began sleeping with the sculptures every night. When I finally loaded the feeders, the group of rams watched from a distance and followed me as I drove away. That gave me chill bumps.''
There's an opening reception at 6 p.m. on August 16. Regular viewing hours are 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Mondays through Fridays, noon to 5 p.m. Saturdays. Through September 20. 1953 Montrose. For information, call 713-523-9530 or visit artleaguehouston.org. Free.
Mondays-Saturdays. Starts: Aug. 16. Continues through Sept. 20, 2013