The 5 Best Things to Do in Houston This Weekend: Latin Wave 10, Bill Maher and More

Start your weekend with a Friday visit to the Contemporary Arts Museum Houston's "Marilyn Minter: Pretty/Dirty" exhibit. Minter has long challenged our conceptions about physical beauty through her hyperrealistic paintings and photography. featuring more than 25 examples of her work. "She's been a very strong conceptual political painter. She looks at the underside of fashion, beauty and celebrity," said Bill Arning, director of CAMH, who co-curated the show along with Elissa Auther of the Museum of Arts and Design in New York. (The show was co-organized with the Museum of Contemporary Art Denver.)

The artist is not afraid to show a dirty heel in an expensive shoe, or zoom in so close to a face that its imperfections become magnified. Her work is often seductive, and last year she published the book Marilyn Minter: Plush, containing 70 photographs of female pubic hair. "The main impetus for the show is because she's become super-famous over the past decade," said Arning. "We want to show that she's been around for 40 years. We also have some of her earliest bodies of work; a group of black and white photographs from a Playboy magazine series that she did. Feminists and early gay activists published in Playboy in the 1960s; it was where intellectual writing took place."

CAMH has purchased a billboard on Jack Street bearing one of Minter's images, a soft-focus close-up of lips. "Those who don't know that it's art won't know what to think," said Arning. "It's a wild image. It's unexpected."

See "Marilyn Minter: Pretty/Dirty" at 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Fridays; 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. Thursdays; 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturdays; noon to 6 p.m. Sundays. Through August 2. Contemporary Arts Museum Houston, 5216 Montrose. For information, call 713-284-8250 or visit Free.

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Olivia Flores Alvarez