Saturday, September 26, 2009

Paintings at Laredo National Bank

I've waited so long to bring this photo to the blog, and to you.

If  I was the official tour guide to  Houston's East End, one of the must-see sites on my route would be the two (2) paintings in the lobby of Laredo National Bank on Lawndale street.

The first one, shown here in the photo, was painted by a group of students at Milby High and commissioned by the bank.  I just want to hug each and every one of those kids.  And I'm not the hugging type.  I want to say to them, "Yes! THIS is our neighborhood, isn't it?!"  They captured the ubiquitous chemical tank cars on the railroad tracks, the white stucco of the community center at Mason Park, the ever watchful Orange and white striped burn-off towers at the refinery, the bayou, the lush greenery, and the view of and from the commanding ship channel bridge.  This is our visual mix.  This is Houston's East End.

In the tradition of great muralists, like Diego Rivera, look at the command of symbolism in this painting.
That graphic body on the far left of the painting  is an artful nod to DuChamp's Nude Descending a Staircase, but here, it's Ascending!  With the help of english, history, and science, the steps rise all the way back to the future, to the top where sits the Mayan, with his pre-conquest grasp of mathematics.
Can you make out the temple/pyramid at the top of the steps?   These kids are good!

So I went to the bank this morning, with my camera in pocket. They had just opened and tellers were otherwise occupied with no guard on duty yet.  I snapped the photos quickly, and didn't ask permission.
They would have invented some kind of security type reason to say no!

reference to previous link:  Babs descending her staircase, post on this blog dated Saturday, August 22nd.


Charo said...

Is it really still called Laredo National Bank or has it changed names along with ownership to BBVA Compass Bank?

BBVA is Spain's 2nd largest bank and BBVA Compass Bank is the 4th largest Texas Bank.

DanaJ said...

Charo, old habits die hard. Yes, it's now a branch of BBVA Compass.
I knew that BBVA was a banking conglomerate out of Spain. I also know they're healthy and aren't asking anyone for a bailout.

Does BBVA have any plans for the magnificent stucco group of Bank Buildings that used to be Laredo National Bank on Harrisburg Road?

Thanks for commenting and keeping me on track.