Rex at the Ogden Museum of Southern Art as part of EMERGE, curated by Terrence Sanders
Writer Adam Falik wrote this about Rex for the artist desciption: "Michael “Rex” Dingler, a former U.S. Marine and current ship’s captain on the Mississippi River, takes his art guerilla-style to the streets of New Orleans. He is the founder of NoLA Rising, an art collective that attempts to both politicize and beautify the cityscape with custom artwork in the form of paintings, murals and sculptures. While graffiti speaks-up without invitation and manages to question the assumption between art and culture, Dingler’s socially conscious work more closely emboldens the spirit of Banksy, the graffiti provocateur who has also made mark on New Orleans with unbidden street pictorial epigrams. While Dingler has been brought up on charges including 1,100 counts of illegally posting on telephone poles, his belief (which he lectures on at Tulane University) is that street art can be a legitimate cultural basis for urban rejuvenation. His “Somewhere in the City, This Blood is Real” captures the essence of his street campaigns brought to canvas. The same block-letter stenciled text message with splattering of red paint has also adorned New Orleans sidewalks and buildings. Dingler’s work is a form of activism that astutely addresses the city’s cultural and civic climate. He is both interested in the man-on-the-street and the streets itself, its cityscape, architecture and geography, which Dingler also explores with architecturally-aligned abstracts and panoramic studies of city skylines. There is a school of thought bordering on mysticism that divines relationship between the shape of buildings and the mental and spiritual health of those who reside within them. Dingler, likewise, seeks the balance between a city’s denizens and their capacity to accept, and interact, with art. In addition to street and studio efforts, Dingler works to promote art education and therapy programs for those who suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder issues."
A description of the show: "The Ogden Museum of Southern Art/University of New Orleans is proud to announce the unveiling of EMERGE – St. Claude Arts District and Beyond: 41 New Orleans Artists from “The Saratoga Collection” on Thurs. November 18. This exhibition celebrates 41 emerging and mid-career artists who live and work in New Orleans. It documents and further validates the burgeoning contemporary art scene developing in the New Orleans St. Claude and Bywater arts districts, but more importantly, artists who have made a decision to live and work in New Orleans. The artists in this collection are relevant, coherent and offer a peek into the world of the new New Orleans contemporary art movement."
Special thanks to Unknown Parts...without him, the "Blood is Real" campaign wouldn't exist.