Welcome to the wonderful world of Rex. Rex Hausmann’s flabbergasting creativity and productivity, his journeys into and off of the canvas, his stories become pictures become store windows become photo shoots become this book, leave me speechless - agog.
Exuberant! If you only had one word to describe Rex and his work.
If Yves Klein came from out of the blue or dove into the blue, then Rex,
Rex is in the pink - this is the icing pink of pan dulce, of donuts frosted.
And yes, there is a sweetness to his vision – his cats, NASA, Audrey Hepburn, Rex between Mark Twain and George Melies – even as the tires with their sprinkles and their icing are those Donuts.
For me donuts – Buffalo, New York, a place where you could watch them on a conveyor belt emerge from the hot oil, glistening. Mostly it was freezing and ice and snow – it was Buffalo. For me donuts – Mark Alan Stamaty’s madhouse delight of WHO NEEDS DONUTS.
For me, Rex - who knows his Melies title cards, plays with them. Whose toys come to life and whose life comes back around to toys. Toys and the cats - Winston and Khan.
And of course, of course the paintings come to life – climb off the canvas, panda and all – how could they not? They’ve been aching all this time to be become be-muse a world – and here they are.
Exuberant too in his use of paint. The man can flat out paint! And in his painted surfaces, sure-handed and candy-crazy – there is enough thick tasty paint, enough regions of just color – if you wanted to lose the story and simply revel in the paint – agog.
The sprinkles, you know, are Jimmys or is that only the chocolate ones. A name that only my oldest friends and former students use for me.
Chutzpah is not the Yiddish for Cat’s Paw.
They appear and reappear – furry friends – I told you this was sweet. For all the loony perambulations and permutations – Rex and I seem to know some arcana of the pop world together – I’ve never asked him to hum the theme songs from sitcoms of the 60s and 70s, but he’s a little younger.
They jump off the canvas and into their own dream worlds, their ideals – skinny Audrey, the magic of space, Jackie O, the Milanium – is it Milan or is it Milennium misspelled? (of the Falcon sort)
Can you write about Rex’s journey – stands in front of the glowing Nieman Marcus with the suits – in cahoots, or all a hoot. (Store Days, yours) What Andy was to Pittsburgh, Rex could be for San Antonio, if this place is really San Antonio at all – I’ve seen the blue and white cups the coffee comes in, and even if the pink is puro san anto, the coffee is not Seattle’s but the diner on Second Avenue, the Brooklyn dive, the Astoria Greek. He climbs off the canvas and into your life, and yours, and yours, and even yours.
Farmhands turn into a scarecrow, a lion and a tinman. Paintings become…… we’ve been there before. But these donuts are not now and have never been bagels.
It’s San Antonio, and we don’t do bagels.
Out of the blue, I’m tickled pink. And continue tickled. Agog.
Thank you Rex for letting me visit your world.
~ Jim LaVilla-Havelin April 2013