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Mark Bradford, the no-holds-barred poster boy of Houston's art car scene, has a 20-year survey on view at, fittingly, the Art Car Museum. Bradford has received a lot of national attention for his work, even hosting the History Channel show Scrapyard Scavenger.
While this survey includes some more traditional sculpture by Bradford, aside from some wall masks with motorized eyes and mouths, they aren't especially interesting. Bradford's over-the-top art cars and contraptions are where the artist really shines. His giant motorized creatures are pretty amazing, many of them covered with "scales" made from stainless steel spoons. (Bradford bought three station wagons full of silverware when American Airlines shifted to plastic utensils after 9/11.)
In addition to the sculptures and art cars, video documentation of past events plays in the gallery, presenting exploits that range from shooting down a snowy ski run in a rigged-up sled, to riding fire-breathing contraptions at Burning Man, to catapulting a refrigerator for a world record. Combining superb fabrication and scavenging skills with a raw Mad Max sensibility, Bradford is a true Houston original.
This show runs through April 24. The Art Car Museum, 140 Heights Blvd. For information, call 713-861-5526.