You Are Here, 1969
You Are Here, 1969

But is it Art?

It's gonna be tough, but at no point in the following will the author resort to that old bromide, "I don't know what's art, but I know what I like." I don't know what's art. Let's just leave it at that.

For example, I've always been curious about people who find they have bought a forgery masquerading as the work of a famed artist. What do they do with it then? Trash it? Presumably, at some point, someone thought the work was beautiful and/or meaningful--that is, art. If the only thing that changed on the work was the signature, why is it no longer so? If Van Gogh never signed a painting, would his works have no intrinsic value? Are art collectors and autograph hounds one and the same?

Owie. "Intrinsic value," he says. Head hurts. Shades of long-ago college philosophy course. Need much beer. Let's move on.

Instead, let's talk about the upcoming exhibition of artwork by late ex-Beatle John Lennon, opening Friday at The South Side Gallery, 1409 S. Lamar St. The exhibit promises the Dallas premiere of four handwritten copies of song lyrics and eight "new" drawings. (New? Neat trick. He's dead.) It includes more than 100 serigraphs, signed lithographs, lyrics and original drawings. "Each drawing has both a personal and a universal meaning, full of wisdom, whimsy and a clarity of artistic expression," reads a gallery press release. Yeah, and so does a humorous Hallmark greeting card, some of which share an uncanny resemblance to some of Lennon's art, to my grossly untrained eye.

Note to Lennon fans: Look, I said I don't know what's art. I know, these were produced by John friggin' Lennon, so they must be good. Right. Got that. And Yoko gets a recording contract because she can sing.

Sorry. Ignore that last crack. Don't wanna argue. Instead, you can visit the gallery and decide for yourself. Admission is free, and it's open 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. Friday and Saturday, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Sunday. A catalog and the works will be on sale. "What, does Yoko need a new couch?" asked my office neighbor Robert Wilonsky. Ignore him, kids. He just doesn't know what's art. --Patrick Williams

Hit the Sauce

The first meat sauce we ever made involved only two ingredients: Gravy Train dog food and water. Sadly, human gourmets often demand more sophisticated sauces than canines, so we've attempted to perfect our technique by assembling an arsenal of pans and gadgets, including a tool we now know as a "twirl whisk" but that we grew up calling a "boingy-boingy." These expenditures have resulted in a plethora of failed attempts ranging from disgustingly runny to horrifically caramelized--which just goes to prove that you can't buy cooking talent. Or can you? For a mere $20 to $25, Mary Risley, director of San Francisco's celebrated Tante Marie's Cooking School, will elucidate the finer points of dishes like veal chop with morels, pork medallions in dried cherry sauce and grilled lamb sandwich with arugula and aioli. That's just one-fourth of the price of that Le Creuset saucepan we've had our eye on. Sauce fanatics, saunter on down to Marty's Bistro, 3316 Oak Lawn Ave., Saturday from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. for instruction, door prizes and 10 percent off all wine. The event is $20 for members of the American Institute of Wine & Food, $25 for non-members. Call 214-696-2493. --Michelle Martinez

Simple Gifts
Rosmarin brings optical delights

With the cyclical nature of all things, often a "less is more" approach may strike a chord with an audience. This applies to any medium, but especially visual art. New works by Texas native Susie Rosmarin, on display beginning Thursday at Angstrom Gallery, bridge the gap between redundancy and modernization. Rosmarin, now a renowned member of the oh-so-hip Brooklyn scene, manages to remove all but the structural basis of image-making. In the process, she makes it possible to find ornate beauty in the simplicity. What, then, of the curse of modern sensory overload? You know, like how a televised block of static can be boiled down to one emotionally homogenous substance. Or when patterns in nature, art, business, etc. yield answers for those willing to look. It's about exploring face value. "All of this from Susie's paintings?" you ask. Possibly. Oh, all right, and maybe a hot artsy guy or girl will be there, too. Happy now? The Angstrom Gallery is located at 3609 Parry Ave. Call 214-823-6456. --Matt Hursh

Gaja Gaga

Wine boot camp is a flood of MD 20/20, Boone's Farm and Sutter Home pinkies. But acquire a taste and wine ascends from critical components in pub walks of death to sophisticated "gotta have" taste-bud ticklers, which is why most of them are French. Except for Italy, as Nana atop the Wyndham Anatole is poised to prove. "Gotta Have Gaja" is the headline for a veritable orgy of Gaja, the sublime wines crafted by Angelo Gaja of Piedmont, Italy. This Gaja sipping tour is guided by renowned and well-accoladed master sommelier Fred Dame, who got his start at the Sardine Factory Restaurant in Monterey, California. The tour will be accompanied by an eight-course Italian nibble fest crafted by Nana executive chef David McMillan. Beginning at 7 p.m., the cost for this indulgence is $175 per person sans gratuity and tax. Reservations can be had by calling 214-761-7470. Mad Dog! --Mark Stuertz


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