It's a Long Story

For most people, bones, nails, stones and fiberglass resin sound more like garbage than art supplies. But painter, sculptor, photographer and draftsman Bert L. Long Jr. used these throwaway items to create Kidney Stone (1985), a painting juxtaposing the strength of the human mind and the frailty of the human body. It's one of 24 works, all dated from 1980 to 2000, on display in the retrospective exhibition "Out of the Life of Bert L. Long Jr." at the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston.

Long's paintings confront the issues of humanity and racial identity as he experienced them growing up in Houston's Fifth Ward. His 2000 work Riding the Tiger is a brightly colored depiction of the artist confronting the ferocious world of fame and fortune. With his long, sharp claws and gleaming green eyes, the tiger suggests that wherever the artist is going, he's in for quite a ride.
June 3-Aug. 13


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