By Steven Robert Allen
War of the Worlds, Fantastic Four and Mr. and Mrs. Smith cost bazillions of dollars to produce and are packed full of pretty people, impressive effects and lots of explosions. Still, if you're over the age of 12, odds are these summer flicks will bore the boxers off you.
What you need is a summer blockbuster of a wholly different color. Actually, you don't need a blockbuster at all. What you need is a Bloc-Busta—and, hey, what do you know? There's one coming your way this very month.
Bloc-Busta is the brainchild of THE Magazine's Jon Carver, the Santa Fe Reporter's Zane Fischer and artists Jennifer Joseph and Franky Kong. They had some help from a Bloc-Busta Curatorial/Organizational Team made up of David Leigh, Sherlock Terry, Debbie Long and Sydney Cooper.
So what is Bloc-Busta, exactly? "It's a real exhibition that takes place in multiple venues in Santa Fe, Albuquerque and Taos," says Joseph. "It's also a virtual exhibit that takes the form of a book."
Happily, both are free. The book is a high quality, glossy affair with a cover design that seems to consist of an image of crusted, cracked dirt. Don't be fooled by the earthy surface, though. The insides are filled with finely produced images from all of the 86 participating artists. The book serves to give Bloc-Busta's audience a taste of things to come, but it is also an integral part of the thing itself.
The range of work here is astonishing, from James Jimenez' "Father and Son Picnic," an image consisting of childish squiggles surrounding an obese, naked Captain America, to Bob Haozous' "Two Generation Woman," a disturbing stone sculpture of a feminine form with a sewn-on face. It's a mishmash that's somehow been refined and ordered into coherence.
"The basic idea of Bloc-Busta," says Joseph, "is to break up the status quo, the block, as it were. It's really about changing how people relate to each other in the art world. We want to create a new dialogue."
One way to get a feel for what this thing is all about is to check out www.bloc-busta.com, Bloc-Busta's high concept website, where you can sample work from all of the participating artists. The site also gives a detailed schedule of events.
The most important date to remember for Albuquerqueans is probably Friday, July 22. That evening from 5 to 9 p.m., work from Bloc-Busta will be on view at the Donkey Gallery, Trevor Lucero Studio, the Factory on 5th, the Downtown Window on the Arts and Gulp. The Richard Levy Gallery will have Bloc-Busta art on view during its ordinary gallery hours, Tuesday through Saturday from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. The evening of July 22, the Factory on 5th will also host live music and an after party.
Of course, other Bloc-Busta events occur throughout the month. Santa Fe's opening events occur on July 15-16. Taos' occur on July 17.
"For myself," says Joseph, "I can honestly say it's put me in touch with other people and other work that I wasn't aware of. There's tons of great work in this state. Bloc-Busta is generating a lot of enthusiasm. Everybody's excited about it."
You should be, too.
Bloc-Busta, a contemporary art spectacle combining a free art book with curated shows featuring 86 artists showing simultaneously in Santa Fe, Albuquerque and Taos, kicks off July 15 and runs through August 15. For details and a complete schedule, log on to www.bloc-busta.com.
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