Bruce Lee: No Way Up But Down
Mighty Fine Arts
September 22 through October 28, 2012
The first word that came to mind when I saw Bruce Lee’s paintings at Mighty Fine Arts was alchemy. Not because they consist of a lot of arcane mathematics and formulas; but because they use paper, paint and ideas to form something great. You’re going to notice his use of color right away – it’s primary and in your face. However once you look closer, you’ll find all sorts of vintage paper ephemera peaking out from behind the main subject.
Each painting has a main character; the croaker, the embalmer and the theme binding the pieces in this show are spiritualism, the mind, alcoholism … death. The heads are similar through out the exhibit and I can see from pulling up past images that Bruce uses this head consistently in his work.
I had questions for Bruce like, “How are the vintage papers that form the base of the painting connected to the painted image?” “Are these characters including the croaker part of some village of outsidersthat live in your mind?” “What is it about growing up in Waxahachie that has created your outsider syle.”
Unfortunately, I didn’t have the chance to ask him at the reception and we haven’t been able to talk on the phone because he’s out on the road headed to another show.
Bruce is billed as Bruce Lee for this show, but you know what happened when I googled that name. It turns out that Bruce is Bruce Lee Webb. He and his wife Julie are artists and collectors. They own the Webb Gallery in Waxahachie, Texas.
Steve Cruz, the owner of Mighty Fine Arts, likes a good party and this always shows at his openings. Good music and Mexican beer are standbys but this past Saturday night, two very fine tequilas were on hand. It’s standing room only at Mighty Fine Arts on opening night which makes looking at the art that much more fun.
Bruce Lee: No Way Up But Down is opened till Sunday, October 28, 2012.