Hey, before you say anything, we ain't claiming you're trying to sneak a little peek at anyone (not that there's anything wrong with that if you were); it's just that the groovy and goofy graffiti lining the walls of the pee parlor is extremely eye-catching and hilarious. Prominently featuring the joint's barrel-wearing doofus mascot, the paint job contains pop culture quotes from a variety of sources, as well as a few scatological turns of phrase. Our favorite from the former category is Homer Simpson's side-splitting parodying of "Tubthumping" by Chumbawamba: "I drink a whiskey drink/I drink a chocolate drink/and when I have to pee/I use the kitchen sink." Good times.
But despite its smarmy, punk truckstop vibe, the G&D can is always clean where you need it to be clean, if you get our drift. There might be some paper towels strewn here and there or some soap spilled on the floor, but we're never afraid to sit down to pee.
The small light strings dim and fade between colors. The endless reflection creates a space with no visual boundaries that bombards us with an overwhelming sense of thrilling disorientation. Stepping into the seemingly infinite space will take your breath away. With such heightened excitement, latching onto your hot date and making the move is only natural.
And if you're shy about PDA, don't sweat it Phoenix Art Museum volunteers allow only two people into the installation at a time and don't stick around to watch. And while the temptation may be to make the moment last, there are other people waiting in line to get some so make it quick.
The gorgeous, modern building houses a permanent collection of more than 4,000 pieces that range from expected paintings, sculptures, and drawings to sneaky surprises like ethnic dress, textiles, and fine crafts. The museum also circulates temporary exhibitions of local or Southwestern artists. But don't let that scare you these pros pick contemporary artists who facilitate a Southwestern flavor with innovative aesthetics no howling coyotes or dream-catchers here.
And if you hit the place over the weekend, you might be lucky enough to catch a music recital.
After an uncomfy visit to the elderly, there's nothing like taking in some killer art with the sweet sounds of Beethoven drifting through the galleries.
No one gives a crap anymore about the 9/11 shrine, and it's ridiculous that we ever did, seeing that the attacks were thousands of miles away on the East Coast. Indeed, other than one dood from Tempe in the wrong place, wrong time, the connection between the 9/11 strikes and the Zona was always tenuous at best, as long as you don't count 9/11 hijacker Hani Hanjour slamming Flight 77 into the side of the Pentagon. He was trained partly in AZ, you see. At least with the attack on Pearl Harbor, there was the USS Arizona. And there are enough Vietnam vets and Korean War vets from AZ to justify their monuments. The 9/11 Memorial, however, is a colossal non sequitur that never should've been built to begin with. That's clearer than it's ever been.
The mural we've been digging the most lately is a tattoo-like creation covering the front of the Guadalupe Youth & Young Adult Program building. Created in 2003 by a number of the program's teenage members under the guidance of a local art instructor, the 12-foot-wide, 5-foot-high painting utilizes imagery from throughout Chicano history and culture on either side of a large icon of a sacred heart. The past is depicted by an Aztec warrior and the Virgin Mary, while the present is represented by Dia de Los Muertos skeletons, a vato-like skull, and a pair of the "laugh now, cry later" drama masks. Has us eyeing that blank cinderblock fence in the backyard...
Ever since 1990, when co-owner Helen Hestenes converted this former warehouse in downtown Phoenix into a massive 30,000-square-foot art compound, she's given up space in the joint's three main rooms for every type of installation piece imaginable across numerous mediums, from sculpture and video art to interactive and performance-based pieces.
They run the gamut from the surreal and spectacular (like when members of Mexico's "X'TeReSa Alternative Art Center transformed the White Column Room in 1994 into an elaborate temple for Aztec rain god Tlaloc) to the more subtle and small-scale effort (such as Jennifer Urso's more recent, interactive Fractured Thought, which had patrons breaking fragile ceramic tile after walking across it in order to illustrate chaotic human thought processes).
Although Hestenes is often hosting local art scene regulars like Susan Copeland, Pete Deise, or Mona Higuchi, she provides opportunities for newbies to get their works in the public eye, such as a recent showcase of work by ASU students.
"The Icehouse is here for artists who want to create pieces that [are] either large-scale or exploratory, or both, since there aren't many venues in the Valley that can handle that kind of work," says Hestenes.
Thank you, Helen!