Brute Force

Brute ForceIf we were as smart as writer Dorothy Parker, we'd try to paraphrase her infamous maxim that "you can lead a horticulture, but you can't make her think" and poke fun--or a very sharp, pointed stick--at some of the freak shows going on around Dallas that are calling themselves art. There's Peter Beard over at the Boyd Gallery, painting with chicken blood in a not-too-thinly-veiled effort to get the thrill-seekers and gore-mongers out and sell some damned art. We're not as smart as Parker is, but we're smarter than these hype-sters might think.

Fall for it if you must, you cultural harlots, but we'd rather see you at Forbidden Gallery, where Jason Cohen may wax sensational now and again, but at least he's not trying to put one over on you. Cohen's latest eye-popper features the work of Shepard Fairey and Aiden Hughes, coyly titled Obey the Brute! in deference to Fairey's cult following based on his guerrilla art effort, wherein he tagged and stickered a large part of New York City with images of Andre the Giant's head. "He's pretty much off of that now," Cohen says, "but he built up a following with that campaign." Hughes is a lauded illustrator and animator, with MTV credits and ongoing work, including music videos, for the band KMFDM.

The work on view at Forbidden Gallery is a sampling of both men's hard-edged, graphic, very sharp images, Cohen says. "Aiden's work is very authoritarian looking, and his use of color is very important in creating an emotion," he says. "And Shepard's work is somewhat similar to a Russian constructivist style." Fairey will attend the opening reception on November 18. --Annabelle Massey Helber