Aerosol Warfare: Exhibit, Visual History and Performance Art in One Show

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See more pics of Aerosol Warfare's Rock the Lot in our slideshow.

There was a lot going on at the Aerosol Warfare artist reception Saturday night for Rock The Lot!

Art Attack schmoozed with other gallery wanderers as we took in the art accompaniment of the film Stick 'Em Up!, the documentary about Houston wheat-paste artists, along with a wall-to-wall collage homage to Aerosol Warfare's 17-year history as graffiti artists in Houston and an introductory exhibit by Aerosol Warfare interns, The Recruits.

The Stick 'Em Up! Poster Show portion consists of black-and-white blowups of fictional and historical characters, the best being a piece by Cutthroat of a soon-to-be-crucified Jesus Christ paired with a Mike Jones quote: "Back then they didn't want me, now I'm hot they all on me!" It is entertaining and edgy, if you don't mind hip-hop mixed in with your religion.

The Aerosol Warfare "ARTifacts" Installation is made up of scrapbook-style documentation of newspaper and magazine clips (there are even some Houston Press stories hanging up there), vintage graffiti pieces, business cards, photos and posters.

"This is just the tip of the iceberg," said Warfare front man GONZO247, noting that they have far more pieces of press than the wall could hold. GONZO247 alone is responsible for splashing the floor of the venue with psychedelic spray paint, which he referred to as a representation of the "genetic DNA of graffiti"; it was like walking on top of an abstract painting.

The Recruits exhibit from the Aerosol interns holds up the back of the gallery with colorful graffiti on glass paintings and wooden sculptures. That night, Key Gun, one of The Recruits, manned a pop-up shop selling trinkets. A Downtown employee by day and longtime lover of Aerosol Warfare, Gun decided to join after hearing about the group's open casting call three months ago.

"I've been involved with coming here and supporting their shows for a long time," he said.

Just as we were getting used to being sandwiched between the tight group of art lovers, four young men clad in white sweat suits, who had previously been crouched around the gallery space, ran outside. We followed them and learned that the hooded guys were members of Urban Movement, a local parkour group. After much jumping and flipping about to the hip-hop-meets-electronica grooves of OG Bobby Trill (and a close call in which we almost took a tennis shoe to the face), everyone crowded back inside.

To be honest, the reception was a bit all over the place. For example, though this was pegged as a family event, the darkly lit venue didn't exactly give off a family-friendly vibe. The two separate DJs -- one playing inside, another outside -- made for disharmonic clanging. And the art exhibit, the historical exhibit and the intern exhibit gave us three different artistic atmospheres in one tiny space. But, to be fair, a collective with as much rich hometown history as Aerosol Warfare deserves to show off its goods -- all of them. As GONZO247 said, the event was meant to be tri-fold, "like a pamphlet."

All of the exhibits will be available for viewing and purchase through January 19, 2012, at Aerosol Warfare Gallery, 2110 Jefferson, Suite 113. For information, call 832-748-8369.

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