My latest for Open Culture is on this lovely doc about Emory Douglas, who was responsible for the distinctive propaganda for the Black Panthers.
A game of chance, or a divination tool? The Mexican card game known as Lotería has a long colorful history, as a version of bingo that just needs a deck of cards, a board, and some chip pieces. For those who play, it’s a fun evening. But as folk art, it is even more fascinating. The deck of cards portrays characters like a magician, a beautiful lady, or a soldier. But like the tarot deck, it also has icons that are both quotidian and strange, filled with hidden meanings, for example, a melon, a ladder, a boot, or a flowerpot. And then there’s a devil, a mermaid, and a drunk guy “El Borracho” (many people’s favorite.) The history and the art of Lotería decks make up the small but very fun exhibit “Lotería! Mexico’s Game of Chance and Poetry” at Casa Dolores, through Sept. 27.
To paraphrase those Dos Equis ads, the Pacifica Institute doesn’t usually hold art exhibits open to the public, but when it does, it has to be by Carl Jung. After all, without psychologist Jung, this double-campus Institute would probably not exist (all due respect to Joseph Campbell, et al., but you catch my drift.) The irony here is that up until only the last decade, nobody really knew that Dr. Jung was much of an artist.
Full disclosure up front: Larry Mills Jr. only shares this reviewer’s family name, not his DNA. For a while, Mr. Mills left Santa Barbara for colder climes out east, places that his wife knew well. The move seemed permanent, but as those of us who have waved goodbye to old friends leaving Santa Barbara know happens often, they returned. (Maybe it’s the kind of weekend we had last Saturday). Fortunately for us he brought back his photographs of that time, and very droll they are, for the exhibition, “I’m Over Here,” at Art Resources Framing & Gallery, through March 29.
Subtitled “Two Years of Getting Lost in New England,” this collection of 40 or so photos discover the odd, trash-strewn and God-fearing backside of the region far outside its usual cliches. Hardly an orchard, or a multi-colored autumn tree, is to be seen in Mr. Mills’ work. These are shots of neighborhoods and back alleys, backwaters and abandoned lots that the tourist bureau would rather you not see.