A misfit team of creatives met in the dark corners of Artist’s Alley during Alpine’s 2015 Big Bend Comic Con. These local artists: Simon Curry, Chris Ruggia, Austin Smith, and Tommy Tessier would go on to create Galeria Sibley’s current exhibition titled “REDS”. The exhibit, showing now until April 10th, opened Friday night with a mix of drawing, photography, and painting that gives Alpine a much needed hit of the avant guarde. It’s obvious the exhibit is inspired by graphic drawing and comics, but it’s remixed with quirky desert culture and artful theory that can only be bred in Alpine.
I took the Blind Bard (George) to the opening and did a terrible job of describing the art for him. Look at Curry’s intricate pen and ink drawn patterns long enough and you’ll spot hands, hoodlums, and other playful Easter eggs. Ruggia, inspired by the African tradition of animal masks, exhibits a series of human characters disguised as common desert animals. Smith’s mixed media text and photo diptychs left viewers creating their own narrative to fill the gaps left between text and image. Smith also showcased several of his strangely absurd comic books. Tessier’s series of large painted wooden boards mimic the panels of the comic page and seem to follow a blue figure on an epic space adventure. I overheard several patrons creating their own story, but never got Tessier’s take.
I’m not sure if Simon Curry was playing an April Fools joke on me, but he told me before the opening that the band was going to play some “chill background music”. Instead we got a heavy metal debut from guitar/drum duo “Time Waves”. George decided to head home at this point, citing the importance of a blind man maintaining hearing faculties. The night rocked on with moshing, break-dancing, and a dog who wandered in to lick the drummer and various crowd members mid-set.