REAL TINSEL is located at 1013 West Historic Mitchell St. Milwaukee, WI.

REAL TINSEL. Real opposed to phony tinsel. It may have been the actor Harry Morgan who first popularized the idea when he referred to the honest superficiality of Hollywood in the 1950’s as “Real Tinsel.” The lightning rod art critic Dave Hickey attributes the phrasing of Real Tinsel to Fred Allen in his essay, Lost Boys, about the Vegas lion taming showmen, Siegfried and Roy, writing that “They are “showbiz” to their toes, but I couldn’t help liking them, nor avoid feeling about them (as Fred Allen did about Hollywood) that beneath all that phony tinsel, there is real tinsel [sic].”In the recent documentary “A Bigger Picture” about David Hockney, the artist’s first words are, “Scratch the tinsel in Hollywood and you’ll find the real tinsel underneath.”

The art deco façade and display windows of 1013 Mitchell already functions as a proscenium, beyond which is a world of the truest and shiniest lies imaginable. Beneath all the fake tinsel, there will be REAL TINSEL. We will present the fetishes, subcultures, concepts, contexts, geekouts, demi-mondes, tribes, cults, gangs, grand narratives, and unified theories, that color the kaleidoscopically diverse contemporary art world. Each show will tell a story, with a directed voice, and a conclusion to be written by those who experience it. There will be a beginning a middle and an end…not necessarily in that order.