New York-based artist Marc Swanson is best known for his crystal-encrusted taxidermy deer heads and deer sculptures. The works embody, for the artist, a very personal narrative that relates Swansons rural New Hampshire upbringing as the gay son of a conservative, hunting-enthusiast father. Swanson is bringing his artwork, much of which fuses the testosterone-fueled world of hunting with the glittery glamour of nightclub life, to the Con-temporary Arts Museum Houston for Perspectives 175: Marc Swanson: The Second Story, curated by museum director Bill Arning. One of the non-taxidermy images included in the show is Untitled (Boxer Box), a construction that features a photo of a young boxer, hands up and ready to fight, behind a screen.
In 2005, Swansons Fits and Starts, a sparkly, life-size deer in an action pose, was installed outdoors at Indianas DePauw University, where it started a firestorm of controversy. The students reactions to the work ran the gamut from viewing the piece as tacky to identifying with it on a deeply personal level. After the piece was vandalized, it was eventually removed. Swanson remained silent during the incident, allowing critics and fans to have their say.
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Dont expect vandals and protests at this Contemporary Arts Museum Houston exhibition of Swansons work, but do expect wildly divergent reactions to his signature combinations of high and low culture and artistic materials. Theres an opening reception 6:30 to 9 p.m. June 30. Regular viewing hours are 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Wednesdays and Fridays, 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. Thursdays, 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturdays and Sundays. Through October 9. 5216 Montrose. For information, call 713‑284‑8250 or visit www.camh.org. Free.
Tuesdays-Sundays. Starts: June 30. Continues through Oct. 9, 2011