The blues, according to visual artist Martin Miglioretti, aren’t just blue. They’re a rainbow of reds, purples, yellows and greens, too. Miglioretti’s series of tribute posters to local blues musicians is part of the exhibit “Blues in All Its Colors,” currently on display at the Heritage Society. A collection of highly stylized portraits, the posters recall the vintage “boxing-style” show cards. “I’m a big fan of midcentury posters,” Miglioretti tells us. “The term ‘boxing-style’ refers to the posters used for boxing matches or shows. They would just say ‘Big Show and Dance’; how can you not wanna go there?
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“They always had a small first name and big, giant last name and would be done in rainbow colors to attract attention. These were usually colors you don’t find together in nature, like bright greens and purples,” he laughs.
Miglioretti, who has been working on the series since 2009, includes quotes or bits of lyrics on each poster. Big Mama Thornton’s poster reads, “You ain’t nothin but a hound dog been snoopin round my door,” a line from her most famous song. The poster of Victoria Spivey, who was known as “The Queen,” shows her with a 21-year-old Bob Dylan in a press photo taken during a studio recording session. It reads, “The queen and her knight.”
While he’s flattered his poster series is included in “Blues in All Its Colors,” Miglioretti says he hopes the exhibit brings attention not just to his art but to the musicians he’s paying tribute to and their music. “I hope it introduces people to the music of Houston and the Gulf Coast. It’s really something to be celebrated.”
10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Tuesdays through Saturdays, 1 to 4 p.m. Sundays. Through August 5. 1100 Bagby. For information, call 713-655-1912 or visit www.heritagesociety.org.
Tuesdays-Sundays. Starts: May 30. Continues through Aug. 5, 2012