When Pennzoil Place opened its doors this week, there was a large, blank cube plopped in the center of its pyramidal lobby. Soon, the nascent 3-D mural will become a full-fledged ode to the distinctive Philip Johnson-designed skyscraper.
The first in a series of live experiences by artists, Austin-based (but Houston-born) J Muzacz will spend the work week crafting the piece, which applies his stained-glass painting technique to vibrant views of Pennzoil Place from multiple perspectives. As of Monday afternoon, one side of the cube remains largely blank, save for a cheeky Philip Johnson quote scrawled across the center: "Don't build a glass house if you're worried about saving money on heating."
You could view the livestream or even visit in person in order to track each brushstroke as the project develops. However, we believe the experience to be more interesting from an anthropological perspective. Observe passersby cock their heads or sometimes stop with their arms akimbo and examine the artist at work. Occasionally, the artist himself disappears. Where did he go? To lunch? To the bathroom? Does he take smoke breaks? In the background of one live shot, through the glass revolving doors, we observed a jaywalker almost meet his maker when a car screeched to a halt just in time.
It's a window into another world, for a limited time—J Muzacz wraps up his residency this Friday, Nov. 10, at 5 p.m.
Thru Nov. 10, from 9 a.m. – 5 p.m. Pennzoil Place, 711 Louisiana St. More info and video at pennzoilplace.com.