The World According to New Orleans at Ballroom Marfa

Curated by Dan Cameron
Featuring work by:  Jules Cahn, Bruce Davenport, Jr., Dawn Dedeaux, Courtney Egan, Skylar Fein, Roy G. Ferdinand, Srdjan Loncar, Deborah Luster, Sister Gertrude Morgan, Gina Phillips, Noel Rockmore,

Listen to a recording of the Red-Haired Stepchild: Making Visual Art in New Orleans panel discussion, featuring curator Dan Cameron and artists Skylar Fein, Srdjan Loncar, and Dan Tague, held on January 10, 2011 at the Masonic Lodge in Marfa, Texas.

This spring, Ballroom Marfa is collaborating with curator Dan Cameron on The World According to New Orleans, a curatorial examination of the art and visual culture of New Orleans, with a particular focus on areas of overlap between self-taught and avant-garde tendencies. The exhibition includes work by several artists who were self-taught, as well as documentary photographs and film that examine neighborhood and community expressions.

Of the six participating artists from the present day, most are well-known to each other and others in the tight-knit New Orleans art community, if not yet to the general public. Bruce Davenport Jr. grew up within the New Orleans public housing system, made drawings as a child, and played football in college until an injury, followed by Katrina, precipitated his return to making art. Courtney Egan, one of the first New Orleans artists to work primarily in video, continues to create in many different media, but with a particular emphasis on projections that incorporate found-object sculpture. Skylar Fein, born and raised in New York, was planning to be a doctor before the experience of Katrina made him instead opt for being an artist, and in a relatively short time he has become one of the city’s most prominent artistic voices, with works ranging from the monumental Remember the Upstairs Lounge to more recent projects focused on music, youth and political revolution. Srdjan Loncar is a sculptor who was born and raised in Croatia and Louisiana before returning for good during the mid-1990s wars in former Yugoslavia. Deborah Luster has photographed both prisoners and crime scenes in New Orleans using atmospheric treatments, and often works with traditional printing techniques. Gina Phillips makes conventional paintings, but is best known for her densely packed assemblage-paintings that substitute skeins of colored threads for pigment. Dan Tague, who has worked in photography, sculpture and installation with tart renderings of political themes, is currently developing a multi-media room-scaled environmental installation based on his memory of ninth grade social studies class.