David Avalos

He wanted to be their Mr. Fiesta but his piĖata was in the shop for repairs getting bullet-proofed.

He’d spent his childhood in the dark then fashioned his blindfold into a headband.

Now in mid-life his fists were still clenched in rage but he chose his fights more carefully a cagey counter-puncher shadow-bowing with the lights off. He wasn’t eager to have his semi-retirement interrupted by his dark side making any sudden moves.

He wanted to be a child again believing that when he closed his eyes he was invisible.

Somehow acceptance is never enough, especially if I suspect that gallery goers are viewing me as Mr. Fiesta. Among the other things, I succeed in exhibiting my doubts. One of the local artists, Chicana photographer Kathy Vargas, wrote that the show was about grace, love and prayer.

Vargas, Kathy, “Glass House layers time into dreams,” Guest Commentary, San Antonio Express News, Sunday, July 23, 1995, Arts Section: 2G.

My goal as an artist is to wake up in the morning, hoping that, If I pay attention, something interesting could happen. I have not been disappointed. This attitude has compelled me to consider my doubts about myself as an artist, about the efficacy of socially engaged art practice, about the museum art world’s relevance to the poor and disenfranchised, and about my ability to understand my relationships with artist, family, friends and community. The doubts and the discomfort within me give form to my individual studio work, as well as my participation in collaborations. I think that this approach works for me. I hope that you will agree that over the last few years my creative activity, at least in the eyes of art professionals, demonstrates substantial, that is, not imaginary or illusionary, achievement.

Glass House

In July 1995 I was a resident at the Pace Roberts Foundation for Contemporary Art in San Antonio, Texas. I was creating an installation to be entitled, Glass House. I based the visual elements on a few short poems that I had written in San Marcos. I had no preconceptions about the exhibition that I had been contracted to create. I was making things up as I went along. Some of the elements did not fall into place until the final twenty-four hours before the opening. Oddly enough, there was never a moment when I felt that the show would not go on. I had banished my doubts about executing the work.

The sculptural elements of the Bullet Proof Pinata floated among the words of the text above which I wrote while in residence at ArtPace.