Most fans know GONZO247 as a street artist and activist/organizer/curator/teacher. They may not know that GONZO247 is also a pack rat. A co-founder of Aerosol Warfare, an artist collective and gallery, he's kept artwork and memorabilia from each of the gallery's shows. "All these years I've kept bits and pieces from every show we've done. I've always had the urge to document our shows," he tells Art Attack. Finally somebody told GONZO247, "Hey, you have all this stuff, why don't you do something with it?" The new exhibit "ARTifacts," opening at Aerosol Warfare Gallery & Boutique on November 19, is his answer.
"This is like watching all the episodes of Lost on Netflix at one time," GONZO247 tells Art Attack. "For fans who've seen some of the shows at Aerosol Warfare over the last 18 years, this fills in the gaps. If those who haven't seen any of the shows, this lets them catch up. And for fans who've seen everything, it brings back memories."
Lots of people across the country know what Aerosol Warfare and the individual artists have been doing for the last five years, but not everyone realizes that Aerosol Warfare had its first exhibition in 1993 and has been involved in dozens of shows and events. (Some of the material in the exhibit dates back to the late 1980s.)
"We've had some unique shows that maybe were a little bit before their time in Houston, so it's going to be really cool to be able to show people and say, 'Hey, we did these really crazy shows way back in the day.'"
Among the items on display will be hand-drawn flyers, canvas pieces and newspaper articles written about Aerosol Warfare over the years. Besides GONZO247, participating artists in "ARTifacts" include Reverend Butter and Jester.
GONZO247 created an abstract spray-paint installation that grows along the floor and creeps up the walls for the exhibit. "It's a crazy, membrane-ish thing that shows where we've been and what we've done. It shows how the path in life isn't straight; it has a lot of turns and twists, but if you stick to it, eventually it will lead you somewhere."
Reverend Butter, who was very active with Aerosol Warfare in the 1990s, is widely known as an ice sculptor. "He's migrated over to sculpting in wood. He's done so many sculptures out of ice, and he wanted to do something more permanent. He's going to be showcasing some of his wood sculpture that he does with chain saws, chisels, the whole nine."
Jester, who was also very active in the 1990s, has recently begun working with custom vinyl toys. "He's got some awesome characters and we're hoping to have some of those on display along with his previous work," says GONZO247.
"The best part is that people will be able to come in and get a sense of our story. They'll be able to see the history and what we've been through. And hopefully, this will lead to more shows based on our archives."
There's an opening reception for "ARTifacts" and two other shows currently at Aerosol Warfare at 7 p.m. on November 26. Regular viewing schedule is Wednesdays through Sundays (call for hours). Aerosol Warfare Gallery & Boutique, 2110 Jefferson. For information, visit www.aerosolwarfare.com or call 832-748-8369. Free.
Keep the Houston Press Free... Since we started the Houston Press, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Houston, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Houston with no paywalls.