Probably the best introduction to the particular and engaging humor of the Houston Chicks’ relentlessly cheery stuck-in-Houston-for-the-summer tourist travelogues is the soon-to-be-classic entry entitled “Houston: Day Seven” from last month, which begins with this striking line:
Today, we went to Rice Village…We stayed for 10 minutes…and left…
and ends, 10 photographs later, in a Galleria parking lot — after a brief repose with an egg-salad sandwich.
The brilliance of the Chicks’ photo essays is difficult to communicate in an excerpt. If you’re looking for a quick take, try The Houston Chicks Have Won!, which recounts a popular Houston archetype in only two frames.
But there’s so much more:
Part of what makes the Houston Chicks’ art singularly compelling is its ability to communicate the essence of the tourist experience in Houston using only simple sequences of annotated images. See, for example, the Chicks’ trip to The Woodlands in Houston: Final Week!! Katy is ingeniously encapsulated in Houston: Day Eleven!, and Sugar Land gets similar treatment in Houston: Week Four (Part 2).
Houston: Part Four features fancy Galleria stores and a “lonely cowboy” by the side of the road. Houston: Week Three! is more freeform, intermixing unusual views of the Galleria with the decorations in the Chicks’ temporary apartment home.
As with all great works, the Chicks’ art gains greater meaning through comparison and contrast with the larger realities it addresses. If you have the patience for longer works, the slow humor of this video is particularly rewarding:
[youtube:http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ovcrz22FUQM 400 330]
Photos: The Houston Chicks!