Michael Agresta

Michael Agresta, an Austin resident, has written for Slate, the Atlantic and the Wall Street Journal.

“Rock of Ages #7,” Edward Burtynsky

Photos of Dystopia

FotoFest, Houston’s biennial art photography fair, bears witness to a planet in peril.

FotoFest, Houston’s biennial art photography fair, bears witness to a planet in peril in alternately beautiful and disturbing ways. Read More

Mark Rothko with “No. 7,” 1960. Photograph attributed to Regina Bogat.

Houston’s Absent Son

The Bayou City displays the personal collection of its beloved-in-absentia Mark Rothko.

The Bayou City displays the personal collection of its beloved-in-absentia Mark Rothko. Read More

A black-and-white photo of a gun.
Criminal Justice

Here Are 21 Texas Mass Shootings ‘Good Guys’ with Guns Didn’t Stop in 2015

Nearly four dozen people, including at least six children, have been killed (so far) in Texas mass shooting incidents this year.

According to the Gun Violence Archive and ShootingTracker.com, America has averaged more than one mass shooting per day so far in 2015. Twenty-one of those mass shootings (instances where four or more people were killed or injured by gunfire) occurred in Texas. Of the eight deadliest gun violence incidents of the year nationwide, Texas can claim three. Read More

Janis Joplin in Denmark in April 1969.

Catching Up with Janis

Her brand of blues presaged 21st century sexual politics.

Joplin remains important now, 45 years after her death, through a combination of that indelible voice and her zeitgeisty identification with the exuberant spirit of 1960s counterculture. Read More

A black-and-white image of the aftermath of the UpStairs Lounge fire, with firefighters and upturned barstools in a charred room.

‘Upstairs Inferno’ a Harrowing Look at Another Era of LGBT Life

Robert L. Camina's new documentary takes an unflinching look back at 'the largest gay mass murder in U.S. history.'

Upstairs Inferno is a worthy effort to dredge up a piece of significant, but for too many of us, forgotten, history — what is, in Camina’s estimation, the largest-ever mass murder of LGBT people in the United States. Read More

Luz Maria Sánchez

Narco Violence, as Seen by a Journalist-Turned-Artist

Binational artist Luz Maria Sánchez grapples with killings that haunt her family and her country of birth.

In person and in her art, Sánchez’s style is observational and exact, almost without an expressive first-person stance, except for, perhaps, one of detached and utterly rational horror. She could almost be viewed as an avant-garde journalist who broadcasts her dispatches from speakers shaped like automatic weapons and collects her supporting evidence in the form of migrants’ cast-off garments from the north banks of the Rio Grande. Read More

Lucy's Fried Chicken

The Man Who Designed Texas

For three decades, DJ Stout’s vision has shaped how we look at the Lone Star State.

You may not know designer DJ Stout by name, but if you live in Texas, you know his work. His aesthetic has determined the past 30 years of visual Texana, both forward- and backward-looking. Read More


The Great Mellowing

God, Willie Nelson, and the increasingly thinkable pipe dream of marijuana reform.

Thanks to God and Willie Nelson, marijuana reform is an increasingly thinkable pipe dream. Read More

Mel Chin "SEA to SEE"

Now You See It

Artist Mel Chin revisits home in Houston.

"Rematch," Mel Chin's overtly political career-retrospective exhibition, will dominate the Houston museum world for two months. Read More