2 Good-byes

I went to my last Santa Monica Art show. It cost 8 dollars to park and 30 more for 2 people to get inside. I like to think myself progressive and open minded when it comes to art, artists and people in general. I love modern, experimental and performance art as well as all the previous masters, old and new. My home is filled with an array of eclectic pieces that I have both purchased and been gifted. So, upon arrival, when I was faced with a black canvas that looked very much like someone had chewed up Reynold’s wrap and spit it out onto the canvas… which I knew probably wasn’t the case, unless the artist had very good teeth indeed… I moved on with great anticipation.

I saw a really large bed mattress, painted entirely in high gloss baby blue, hanging from a wall with excess paint dripping under and below. I have an intense dislike for baby blue as it is…having had to endure my first home and it’s wall to wall baby blue carpet for a year because I could not afford to change it. To be faced with this was more than I could bare…even though I did marvel at the folks not smirking as they studied it… and I moved on.

I turned corner after corner, trying hard to hold my breath so I wouldn’t utter anything inappropriate….like “utter crap” or “Do they think us fools“. I listened to the “informed” and the “intellectuals“. I observed the scarfed, the hatted, the caped, the outright pompous and bejeweled. I saw phony after phonier trying to look the part of ” Artist” or “Artist Rep“and I won’t even go into what I saw in the ladies room as a woman prepared her “Costume“. I wasn’t even aware there was “A Look“…But what I didn’t see was alot of talent…real exciting new talent!

I watched the gallery owners and reps sitting in chairs, each assembled in their booths, all mindless of the people who had paid to see what was new. They sat madly clicking away on their Macs…God, I wished I’d had my 5D with me. There was so much material I was breathless.

Then I finally came upon something wonderful. It was new and fresh and fantastic. I stood looking at the canvas intensely. I watched out of the corner of my eye as I stood, waiting to be approached, the rep…sitting…doing nothing but holding her cell phone. After minutes, I walked over “to her“. I asked if she was the artist. “No” She told me…”she was the gallery owner” “The artist is_____”, then nothing more. I waited. I then asked about the medium and was given a short, specific answer…then nothing more. I waited. Then I asked if he was local…”No, German” was the reply. I waited. Nothing more. I looked at her and shook my head. I should have said “If you rep someone and you actually paid to get into this place, you probably should actually TALK about the work and the artist you are representing because I may be not be dressed as a Banker, or an Artist or a Movie Star ( I didn’t get the memo), but I may just be a future client“. But no, I shook my head and walked away. I felt a great dis-service towards the artist. I felt his talent deserved better…much better.

As I turned the corner, it was straight in front of me…the one “work of art” that finally made me lose it. It appeared to be a rather poor interpretation of Beethoven (or possibly Ben Franklin without glasses) sitting in a most unfortunate garden. I envisioned a brush being handled between toes (after I saw the artist). I can’t actually be sure because I couldn’t see the length of the toes but…I’m fairly certain…

I had to hold my hand over my face to cover up the loudest cackle…while quickly exiting…

While driving away from Santa Monica to head home, I passed a little old surf shop. I got out and shot this. I think the owner of the shop probably spray painted it himself, right on his own wall. I think it was the best piece I saw all day. It made me actual “feel” something. I connected with it instantly. I probably should have told him he had a definite future.

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5 Responses to “2 Good-byes”

  1. I guess N. could do it by the sound of it. (Hope he went peacefully). God Bless.

  2. http://www.artrenewal.org/
    This site takes a bit to load, but once you are there, you are greeted with a philosophy that says, in part…”nothing has been more restricting and debilitating than the theories of modernism…”

  3. Thanks Leslie! I will definitely check it out.

    I even saw a person that blew up plastic bags in assorted sizes, rolled them in paint and displayed them on a big white pedestal. It would have been more exciting had they people arranged to jump on and explode them!

  4. “Modernism” was in vogue when I attended art school. I certainly didn’t fit in 🙂
    When I would display my work publicly, what I heard most often as a comment from observers was, “I don’t know anything about art, but I know what I like.”
    I told them, “That’s all you need to know.”

  5. The truest statement Leslie!

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