When he was still filming his documentary Stick ’Em Up, someone asked director Alex “Pr!mo” Luster where he’d like to screen the film when it was finished. The Museum of Fine Arts, Houston was on his short list. The museum might not be a good fit, he was told. His film was about outsider artists such as Give Up, Shepard Fairey and Eyesore; the museum was home to masterworks by Rembrandt, Picasso and Miró. That was then, this is now. Stick ’Em Up is slated for a three-day run at the museum.
The film captures Houston’s wheat-pasting art scene, the creative process of the artists and the guerrilla tactics they employ to place their work on what they consider to be public walls. Many local officials and building owners think the artists are nothing more than vandals. (Several artists appear in the film with their faces hidden.) Fans, however, consider them to be at the forefront of a provocative form of street art.
The film captures just one moment in the history of Houston’s art scene, according to Luster. “Things have already changed,” he says. “Some of the artists you see in the film have moved out of town, some aren’t working anymore, and some have gone on to bigger and better things. Everything’s already different.”
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Filmmakers and artists are scheduled to introduce each screening, as well as take questions from the audience. And Luster promises a special surprise for fans, a little something they can take home. (Sorry, he swore us to secrecy.) See Stick ’Em Up at 6:45 and 9 p.m. Friday and Saturday, 5 and 7 p.m. Sunday. 1001 Bissonnet.
May 4-6, 2012