11/08/13 11:15am

The Art Guys say their van will be doing about 60 mph around the 38-mile-circumference of the 610 Loop this weekend, which means that in 12 hours of continuous driving, they should make something shy of 19 times around the Inner Loop — minus pit stops for gassing up and, uh, watering down. Then they’ll turn around and unwind for an additional 12 hours in the opposite direction. What are these guys driving at? Feel free to call the artists themselves while they’re on the road, using the number emblazoned on the side of the van (832-712-6207) if you’ve got questions about the project; they plan to start their 24-hour freeway adventure at 5 p.m. this Saturday from the North Shepherd entrance ramp.

Who’s footing the bill for such loopiness?


09/19/13 11:00am

In February, the Art Guys went for distance, walking the marathon that is W. Little York Rd.; tomorrow, they’ll be going for danger. The 9th of their “12 Events” requires Jack Massing and Michael Galbreth to maintain pedestrian safety techniques and situational awareness as they cross the street, all day, at Westheimer and Hillcroft/Voss, what they’re claiming is the “busiest intersection in Houston.”

Here’s the deal: They’ll start their day off walking clockwise, and, presumably to avoid the monotony, switch things up and go counterclockwise the rest of the afternoon. It’s unclear whether they’ll be taking advantage of the various muscle supplements and joint remedies at the nearby Vitamin Shoppe in the Westhill Village Shopping Center there on the southwest corner.

Photo of Art Guys on W. Little York Rd.: Everett Taasevigen

08/19/13 11:45am

The Art Guys are in there somewhere: On Friday the mischievous duo executed Good Fences Make Good Neighbors, the latest of their yearlong series of 12, umm, performances. Cocooning themselves in these 6-ft. sections of privacy fencing, Jack Massing and Michael Galbreth proceeded to spend 2 hours publicly scuttling about the reflecting pool and Hermann Square in front of the Joseph Finger-designed City Hall.


08/05/13 1:15pm

Metalab recently collaborated on and completed this so-called “architectural folly” commissioned by those staunch advocates of play, The Art Guys. Dubbed the “Tumbling House,” the private playshack rests atop a 50-ft. galvanized arch of rolled pipe; the pipe spans much of the backyard and branches off into a manic jungle gym of swings, slides, monkey bars, and ladders. Metalab declined to give many more details about the project, since it’s a private thing and all, but you can see more photos of the whimsical whozee-whatzit from the firm’s blog:


05/13/13 11:00am

THE ART GUYS TO START UNRAVELING This is the route the Art Guys say they will be taking tomorrow morning when they stage the 5th of the yearlong series of monthly celebratory stunts they’re calling “12 Events:” Titling this one “A Length of String,” Jack Massing and Michael Galbreth will unwind a spool of thread they’ve had sitting around since 1983 while walking along White Oak Bayou between W. Tidwell and T.C. Jester, just north of the Loop, and then they’ll turn around . . . and wind it back up. Last month, you’ll remember, they donned tuxedos and conducted the sounds of the Ship Channel from the Santa Anna Capture Site in Pasadena. [Art Guys; previously on Swamplot] Map: Art Guys

04/18/13 3:40pm

ART GUYS WORKING WITH SHIP CHANNEL IN NEXT ‘EVENT’ At the site shown here in Pasadena near the old Paper Mill and Washburn Tunnel, where General Antonio López de Santa Anna is said to have been captured during that historically succinct Battle of San Jacinto, the Art Guys are planning their next performance: They’ve announced they’ll crack out their batons and “conduct the sounds of the Houston Ship Channel.” (Not sure what that could look like? Go see it for yourself.) Jack Massing and Michael Galbreth, the helmsmen of “12 Events,” a yearlong series of monthly head-scratchers that commemorate their 30 years of Houston mischief, have so far in 2013 shrugged off their divorce from the Menil, signed their names for 8 hours at the Julia Ideson Library on National Handwriting Day, and walked all 29.6 miles of Little York Rd., the longest in Houston. Next up, once they’ve conducted the Ship Channel waters? The Art Guys unwind a spool of thread, and then — wait for it — wind it back up again. [The Art Guys; Culturemap; previously on Swamplot] Photo: JimmyEv via Waymarking

03/06/13 2:30pm

WHAT IT MEANS TO WALK WITH THE ART GUYS Following them in his van as they hiked all 26 miles of Little York, photographer Otis Ike seems to have had time to come to terms with the piece the Art Guys are calling “The Longest Street in Houston:” “Having to explain the project in its most basic form allowed me, early on, to see Little York Road as an intricate social passage in which the Art Guys and myself were temporary and secondary to the basic necessities of the road’s users,” he writes today on Glasstire: “Yet there was something spectacular that started to emerge . . . . The Art Guys had become a moving target for me to frame the city and comment on the way that we manipulate, pave and . . . program the earth in the name of selling shit to people in cars.” [Glasstire; previously on Swamplot] Photo of the Art Guys on Highway 290: Otis Ike

03/04/13 2:00pm

And the celebratory stunt that the Art Guys pulled this month was walking the entire length of Little York Rd. Moving on, apparently, from their uprooting in early January at the Menil Collection, the shadowy figures Michael Galbreth and Jack Massing completed “The Longest Street in Houston” last Tuesday, walking the 29.6 miles of Little York from Mesa Road to where the concrete ends at Jasmine Crest Lane in Settlers Village.

This is some of what they saw:


02/07/13 11:00am

Invasion of the Art Snatchers: Carrie Schneider and Alex Tu, pictured above (though not in their everyday wear), are planning to reproduce the Art Guy Michael Galbreth’s “The Human Tour,” reports Houston Press‘s Meredith Deliso. As a UH student in 1987, Galbreth came up with the crosstown tour: a 40-mile, anatomically correct urban hike in the shape of a human figure.


01/16/13 10:15am

THE ART GUYS GO TO THE LIBRARY A Swamplot reader says that the eponymous live oak (shown at right) in “The Art Guys Marry a Plant,” acquired by the Menil Collection in 2011, has been uprooted from Menil Park. Art Guy Jack Massing “didn’t want to say where the tree has gone,” reports the Houston Chronicle: “‘We’ve got it all taken care of,’ he said.” Instead, he wanted to talk about the Art Guys’ 30 years of working together; they’re planning “12 Events:” a year of once-a-month “behaviors” beginning on January 23 with a marathon autograph session at the Julia Ideson Library on McKinney: “They see signatures as something both basic and profound that’s evolved from the simplest mark making — drawing a line — into a legally-binding expression of identity. ‘People say they can’t draw, yet they have a signature. It’s a way of drawing your identity with a linguistic connection so you can be relevant in the world,’ Massing said. ‘It’s simple and basic, and yet incredibly profound.'” [Houston Chronicle] Photo: Robert Boyd

01/14/13 10:00am

BREAKING UP WITH THE ART GUYS Will the newest installation at the Menil Collection be a hole in the ground? The Art Guys were told last week that the museum intends to remove the live oak they “married” in 2009 in “The Art Guys Marry a Plant,” a public ceremony at the Lillie and Hugh Roy Cullen Sculpture Garden at the MFA,H. The museum acquired the tree in 2011 and held another public ceremony when it was planted in Menil Park on Branard St.; the little site (shown at right) backs up to the bamboo grove walling off the park from the Rothko Chapel and Barnett Newman’s “Broken Obelisk.” [Houston Press] Photo: Robert Boyd