SOMETHING LIKE A PHENOMENON
Described on the invitation as a “fabulous souped-up house party,” the Dallas Contemporary’s second annual Phenomenon was a soiree on steroids. Conceived and executed by the Chicago-based mixed media artist Dzine, this year’s fundraiser shone a light on a creative subculture of cool cars, fab fashion and classic house music while giving some local talent a chance to show their stuff.
“One of the most important words to me is community,” said Dzine, who spent a year going back and forth from his hometown to Dallas to source lowrider clubs and breakdancers for the event. “It’s important to me because my family was part of that culture, and one of the reasons that I do exhibitions that involve the community is they get to participate, but they’re giving back by being involved.”
Visitors were greeted by a parking lot of defiantly posed vehicles from Bad Boyz Kustom Auto of Dallas and the Majestix Car Club of Dallas (along with the artist’s own awe-inspiring Cadillac, “Pimp Juice”) before entering the museum. The space was transformed into a go-for-baroque wonderland of Kustom Kulture sculptures and paintings, including the altar-inspired Emigrants/Immigrants trophy installation, which honors the artist’s father.
Dress of the night was definitely “bring on the bling,” but gilt-free attendees could purchase raffle tickets to win a signed Dzine book. In exchange they received their choice of ghetto fabulous medallions and rings to up the glamor factor.
Dzine’s relationship with Chicago house music pioneer Derrick Carter helped nail down the legendary DJ’s participation in Phenomenon, and Carter brought down the house with a smooth three-hour set that had even the most jaded art fans tearing up the dance floor.
“I love him, and I love his work,” said Carter, who revealed he has a piece by Dzine titled Pearl Necklace hanging in his home. “I’m down with cool people, and he makes cool shit.”
For Capera Ryan, Christie’s senior vice president, managing director Southwest region and the event’s honorary chair, Dzine and Phenomenon are nothing less than the shot in the arm that the Dallas art world was waiting for. “We need to do things like this and really push the envelope,” she said. “People want a challenge and that’s what this night is all about. We all like to connect and this is a way to do it.”
More Kustom Kulture fans onsite included Dallas Contemporary executive director Peter Doroshenko, event co-chairs Laura Noble and Kristie Ramirez, Roksolana Karmazyn, Julie Lieberman, Adrian Meyer, Cindy Lefferts, Rudy Rush, Jose Reyes, Tim Peck, and Missy Rogers.
“Victory,” the exhibition of Dzine’s works, runs through March 31 at the Dallas Contemporary.