The city of Houston, while offering artists much needed support in the form of work space, free time, gallery space, and even financial backing, lacks the supportive yet critical engagement necessary to fully realize its potential to be a rich arts community. Aiming to provide a local forum for art criticism connected to world literature and international concerns, Harbeer Sandhu’s blog Texphrastic features weekly posts focusing on the visual art of Houston and Texas in a global context.
Harbeer Sandhu is a Houston-based freelance writer whose work regularly appears in Cite, Free Press Houston, and Glass Tire. His art writing draws on his background in literature and literary theory, often weaving together disparate voices and quotes, resulting in ekphrastic pieces which often stand alone as original essays even as they shed light and new meanings on the artworks which instigate them. For example, his essay “Ovoid: A Meditation,” an exploration of an architectural intervention in a condemned bungalow on Houston’s Cottage Street, uses first-person and second-person points of view with quotes from The Tao Te Ching and decades-old newspaper.