PAINTING BY BRENT F. WIDEN
MARCH 4th – 29th, 2010.
Brent Widen was born and raised in Chicago, where he froze his ass off waiting for the “L” train for over a quarter century. He emerged Magna Cum Laude in Fine Arts from The University of Chicago with barely some remnant of common sense and the ability to enjoy the study of American Civics & History still intact. In 1988, having ventured on an impromptu sleepless road trip to San Antonio with an Alamo Heights expatriate waitressing in a Lincoln Avenue Hofbrau House, Brent caught a glimpse of the Southtown Riverwalk at the end of Beauregard Street and summarily decided to stay.
In 1995, he persuaded Ben Wong to sell the Historic Wong Grocery Company Building (ca. 1901) with 56 years of Chinese – American fixtures, product, junk, text, ceramic shards, paper-clips, used & stored dental-floss, dried food and terrifying meat-cutting saws and knives packed like refugee baggage inside. The painted doors and windows in this exhibition are salvage from that holy place. These objects were appropriated into Brent’s continuous endeavor of art-overwork with the implicit permission of Grandma Wong, whose ever-mumbling ghost inhabits the premises to this day.
This is Brent’s 3rd exhibition at Jump-Start Art Gallery, a fact that attests to their commitment to tolerance and cultural diversity and for which he is sincerely grateful. The first: Moses, Mezuzahs and Other Judaica from the Infinito Botanica (Festival de Libre Enganche, 1995) and the second: Six Days – A Temporary Mural (2003) were monster hits among his friends and then quickly forgotten.