Visual Art In/Visible Is Up: Hey Dario, I Just Got Your Woolly Mammoth Hairs In, Give Me A Call
posted by May 21 at 14:00 PMon
San Antonio-based artist Dario Robleto has two shows up currently at the Frye Art Museum, but that’s not why In/Visible decided to do two podcasts with him rather than only one. It’s because he’s too interesting to cover everything in one sitting.
In part one, recorded and posted in late April, Robleto talked about his personal history in and around hospice and honky tonks in Texas, and about his philosophy of “attainable magic.”
The wild materials he uses in his artworks are all real things in the world, as far-fetched as they sound—for example, there’s trinitite, glass produced during the first atomic test explosion from Trinity test site, when heat from the blast melted the desert sand.
In part two, recorded May 15, Robleto focuses on his materials, explaining how he gets them and what they mean to him. (Here are a few examples of what he uses: bones from every part of the body, ground seahorse, men’s wedding bands excavated from American battlefields, residue from female tears of mourning overlaid with residue from male tears of mourning, pain bullets, tracheal extractor, ground pituitary gland.)
His latest find? A multimillion-year-old blossom, perfectly preserved, and a multimillion-year-old raindrop, caught in amber. Those objects will be part of an upcoming group exhibition (called Human/Nature: Artists Respond to a Changing Planet) with Mark Dion, Ann Hamilton, Xu Bing, and four other artists at the Museum of Contemporary Art in San Diego. Robleto is also in a group show called Old, Weird America (the title comes from Greil Marcus’s take on Dylan’s basement recordings) at the Contemporary Arts Museum in Houston.
His 10-year survey, Alloy of Love, opened last weekend at the Frye in Seattle.
Click here for the new podcast.
Below are two of the many works in the show.
Sometimes Billie Is All That Holds Me Together (1998-99), hand-ground and melted vinyl records, various clothing, acrylic, spray paint. Several new buttons were crafted from melted Billie Holiday records to replace missing buttons on found, abandoned, or thrift-store clothing. After the discarded clothing was made whole again, it was re-donated to the thrift-stores or placed where it was originally found.
Detail from A Color God Never Made (2004-05), cast and carved de-carbonized bone dust, bone calcium, military-issued glass eyes for wounded soldiers coated with ground trinitite (glass produced during the first atomic test explosion from Trinity test site, c. 1945, when heat from blast melted surrounding sand), fragments of a soldier’s personal mirror salvaged from a battlefield, soldiers’ uniform fabric and thread from various wars, melted bullet lead and shrapnel from various wars, fragment of a soldier’s letter home, woven human hair of a war widow, bittersweet leaves, soldier-made clay marbles, battlefield dirt, cast bronze teeth, dried rosebuds, porcupine quill, excavated dog tags, rust, velvet, walnut