Surf's Up: Emily Halbardier's "Deep Green" at Domy Books

At first glance, this show of mixed-media work by Emily Halbardier could come across as under-skilled or shallow in its processes and execution -- but that's only a surface judgment, and it would be grossly reductive. While Halbardier's drawings of people are definitely simple representations rather than realistic renderings, they're still very much the work of an adult artist, despite their childlike leanings (think a weirder, less-practiced Shel Silverstein).

Halbardier explores coastal living in this show, perhaps the kind of beach life that might survive a cataclysmic tsunami, or perhaps some kind of ironic post-rapture. People go naked, subsist on coconuts, defecate in public and master new surfing techniques. (And some unseen people are playing a lot of soccer.) It's a harmonious life, expressed through Halbardier's progression of images, which include drawing, collage, found photography and UV ink on paper and fabric, illuminated by blacklight.

It's way affordable work, too, with nothing more expensive than $250, but I can't imagine a collector buying only one piece. These works function collectively; their likability comes from their close proximity to each other. Through September 15. Domy Books, 1709 Westheimer, 713-523-3669.

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