Archives for posts with tag: Chelsea

We had an ice storm here in Atlanta this past winter. Not a nice storm. Put the separation between the words in the right place. Ice storm. You know the one. We, in Atlanta, looked like fools on TV and the internet.

The storm I am writing about (We actually had two.) started out as a snow storm. Just like any other. But the traffic! Lord, the traffic! And the slipping and sliding!

A person lost his life. A baby was born. It took the average person to move at the rate of one eighth of a mile per hour. If that.

Yes, there was heroism. We Americans always go for that when reporting such horrors. My husband was in his car along with the rest of Atlantans, arriving at his intended destination. He had to turn around because the person he was dropping off at the bus….well, the buses were not running. It took him an hour to turn around and he got home at midnight. He had been driving for twelve hours. To go ten miles. To the bus and home. Ten miles roundtrip.

Because people were frustrated in the crazy traffic, a lot of people left their cars and walked that night. The next day, cars were strewn all over expressways and backroads, abandoned like discarded toys on Christmas Day. It looked like The Rapture or a science fiction movie.

No, my husband did not spend the night in the shelter of a grocery store, using feminine products as a pillow. No, he did not experience the terror of being disconnected from our child because he had no idea if she was at the school or not. No, he did not spend the night in his car with no one knowing, due to a drained charge in his cell.

But it was awful.

My studio is next to Art Papers, a magazine about contemporary art. The former Editor-In-Chief and Executive Director, Sylvie Fortin, told me that an artist should always, when contributing, donate his/her best work. (Sylvie, by the way, raced me to the hospital one time. It was when a masonite painting I was working on fell, severely damaging the muscle in the back of my leg. I also should point out that Sylvie does not drive. She drove my car, first wheeling me in an office chair to the curb. In addition, she put everything aside to get me there.)

She told me that, by putting your best work out there, especially when you donate artwork, you speak to your audience clearly. As clearly as you would if your work were in a gallery.

This is the piece I have donated to the Hambidge Auction. I posted it recently on Facebook. It is from my solo show “Afloat: An Installation”, New York. This piece is a collage, 5” x 5”, a collage done strictly with magazine pieces, no computer imaging. Or internet sources. It is framed in a white floater frame.

I also posted it in my online exhibition here on WordPress. Where it received the highest “site stat” rating. Which means it received the most “hits” on my blog. 
Even with the inclusion of my post about my friend and mentor, the now famous artist, Peter Forakis which also received very high stats. This piece aced that one.

It is kind of like that song from West Side Story: “When you’re a Jet, you’re a Jet all the way.” Everything matters. Or don’t do it!

While shopping for my daughter’s second Prom dress, I happened to go to one of the strangest places. Mind you, my daughter has been in ballet for many years, therefore we are used to costumes, feathers and the bizarre quality the footlights bring about.

But my daughter had found her tribe, probably long ago, and her eyes lit up upon entering the grandeur and glue. But I was reminded of the circus.

Dresses hanging at least two feet higher than in a regular dress shop, (to allow for the length of the gowns), all squished into each other. They were catalogued by color. Rich, dazzling color.

Pedestals for self-viewing in front of huge gilded mirrors. Screens to dress behind. Girls being squeezed into cut-out sparkles, all lumpy and in need of Spanx.

The ring leader of this store sat behind a desk. She reminded me of Vito in The Godfather. Power was what she was about. And hustle was how she did business, while her minions worked the girls, oozing the words “beautiful!” and “you!” softly heard through the thickly carpeted rooms.

My daughter bought her dress there. Tasteful and elegant. I cannot tell you how this could be possible. Her manifestation of cheap glitziness was in the pair of shoes we bought, however.

Before the final touch was put on these lovely flat shoes, I fell into her trap. The circus leader had me writing a check. The male assistant then ascended the glitter strewn stairway to spray them.

He came down with silver glitter encrusted flats, telling us he went through two cans of spray paint. Carrying an extra can of Krylon silver glitter spray in case we needed to touch them up. I need say no more except that these shoes had clamped to them two clip-on earrings, rhinestones, of course. At the toe. The shoes could not be even tried on at the time because the paint was still wet. The assistant was respraying them in the dark outside as we were preparing to leave. Even the rhinestones had spray paint on them!

You get the picture. My husband returned them along with the third can of spray paint these stiff shoes might need. Our check was destroyed. Our dignity intact.

WhIle I am on the subject of my daughter’s Prom, she and I, of course, had to go Prom dress shopping. For Senior Prom.

Two Prom dresses. One remade and shortened (Her date was short all of a sudden.) The second one, altered for $225.00. Yup, you don’t want to know what the dress cost. Five pair of shoes: One pair, too high for the first Prom dress. One perfect for the first Prom dress. One not as dressy as it should be. (We are into the second Prom dress now.) One pair of shoes sprayed with two cans of Krylon glitter spray (The story of the glitter sprayed shoes is saved for another blog.) And, finally, the perfect pair.

Prom went off in the perfect fashion. Drama, dreams and delirium.

I want to go back to listening to the garbage removal truck outside!

Piece Of My Heart, Number Six

Vince Vaughn bought my daughter’s Prom dress.

He is making a movie in Atlanta. And the location unit chose the building where my art studio is situated.

I used to be in Advertising. And one of the accounts I worked on, was Orion Pictures Publicity. I am familiar with the movie business. Maybe not the production side, as this was. But I loved the hustle, bustle. The project to project. The excitement. I loved the collaboration. I loved how everyone was working toward a common goal. The hurry up and wait.

Is it possible I could have made a mistake to do what I do now? I am all alone. I see no one. Ever. I work alone. But I get ego recognition. The work is all mine.

In the movie business, you pitch in. There is not room for two egos in the limousine. With the exceptional Philip Seymour Hoffman hat sported by the guy on the ladder, the importance stays with the stars and the film company executives.

How did Vince Vaughn buy my daughter’s Prom dress? No one knew this was not an inconvenience to me. I did not attend the shooting. I did not talk to many of the workers.

But the preparation of the scenes demanded an excruciatingly long time. And, needing the money, as most of us do these days, I accepted compensation for the work done in the building.

When we lived in a quiet “In town” neighborhood in Atlanta, I used to walk quite a bit. I walked to the grocery store, which we called the Korean Market. How racist. And I walked just to walk.

A few years prior, after my job at the Ad Agency ended, I became a pet sitter, going from house to house, looking after peoples’ dogs and cats. I was attacked by a dog during one of these visits, and needless-to-say, I halted my job as a pet sitter. Why should I do this for money?

Therefore, my leisurely neighborhood walking excursions were filled with the fear of being attacked again. Around every bush, there could be a dog just waiting to attack me. And that fear bred more fear, because after all, don’t dogs sense fear?

I was leafing through a magazine one day and found an ad for a device a person could carry. It would emit sounds undetectable to humans (of course) and dogs would be repelled. It was perfect for mailmen, the ad said. And those on business having to come to unfamiliar houses.

Perfect! I would order this gray pancake-like item with little sound wave grooves on the end of it. And a button to push when a dog was near.

I carried it around on my walks. Still a little fearful. And also aware I was probably being duped. But hey, I had my gray dog repellent device and, if a boxer came near me, I would aim.

Whether it worked or not did not matter. Because I never had to use that thing. The other day, years after I had purchased this mysterious gray piece of plastic, I was cleaning out a drawer. I looked at it and with a little embarrassment, put it back in the drawer.

Belief in a dog repellent? Just like those round green termite traps that lie in our yards. Or the one inch square cut piece of sheet I own that Paul McCartney supposedly slept on at the Plaza Hotel. Or how do you know there is really a star out there with your name on it? Belief. Praying on love, fear or desire. It’s part of our psyche to want magic.

You all know about my love of fortune cookies. I blogged about it. Their meaning to me. Their potential for being correct for one’s life at a particular time.

I got one the other day that said, “IF YOUR WORK ISN’T FINISHED, BLAME IT ON THE COMPUTER!” Pretty cool. A lot of my work is done on the computer. But I get the point.

This project I am doing now is two fold. Doing the art for my solo show. Blogging about it. Allowing for a tangent, a rant. Tall order.

Blogging is time consuming. I don’t have to tell you that. But it could be looked at like this: Blogging will become my time manager.

I will have to paint. I will have to blog. I will have to paint in order to blog. Blogging will become my master. I will work for blogging.

To the contrary, the fortune cookie should have read “IF YOUR WORK ISN’T FINISHED, YOU ARE NOT GIVING THE COMPUTER ENOUGH CREDIT!”

Piece Of My Heart

Here I continue to post works of art in preparation for my next New York show.

The image above is from the Brooklyn Art Library’s Sketchbook Project. Fairly recently, I got a hold of one of the 28,000 or more blank sketchbooks issued to people all over the world and decided to make a sketchbook for the tour. And when the sketchbook tour came to Atlanta, I “checked out” my book. (These clever people have the tour set up like an actual library!) And looked at it again. Had to put it back, though, for the rest of its journey.

Because I plan to make a video animation of its artwork someday, I had it photographed. While my sketchbook was tooling around for others to see, I had the opportunity to alchemize it. I love to recycle ideas and extend projects.

Since I will never be able to touch the sketchbook again (It returned to Brooklyn with the other thousands of sketchbooks) and I will never turn its pages or mark it to make it different, I had no choice but to bring it out of its virtual world. And into the world I can alter.

The beginnings of this new series of work start with inkjet printed pages of the sketchbook. Bringing the work once again back to me. To look at and make different.

Piece Of My Heart

Here I am again. It has been a long time since I posted anything on a regular basis.

I am beginning a new series for my blog. I like to group things. I like projects. It was that way with “Afloat: An Installation”, my online exhibition here on WordPress. 100 collages, a day at a time.

The online show, “Afloat”, a continuation of the actual installation, shown in New York six months prior and reviewed by the Entertainment Editor in the Atlanta Journal/Constitution! The editor liked my commentary as much as he liked the images themselves.

Although I am not doing this blog series as a continuation of an actual exhibition, as I did the last time, I probably will do the same banter and stream of consciousness stuff I did before. This brand new project will be different in its visual content however. What you will see is a “working toward” another solo show in New York sometime in the next year or so…..process, finished pieces, drawings for finished pieces and things like that.

I hope you enjoy it. Please, feel free to comment. That is what makes doing these entries so much fun for me! And hopefully, for you as well.

Day NInety-Nine/Image Ninety-Nine

“Afloat” Image. Ceres Gallery. New York. Solo Show.

Installing “AFlOAT: An Installation” was a work in and of itself. Positioning, measuring, art and design skills were involved. (And balancing on a ladder.) An installation is just that. It’s the entire gallery up for review. Not the individual pieces. I had to install the one hundred slightly deflated rings as well as the one hundred collages on the gallery walls. I wanted to convey a feeling of a flood. Of jarred materials bumping up against the shore. Each element had to be positioned just right.

I forget how long it took. I do know my husband and I worked tirelessly, late into the night in the gallery in Chelsea. The gallery is located on the same side of the street, very close to the club of dubious distinction, Scores, a hangout for businessmen and scantily clothed young women.

Scores did not make a difference in the hanging of this show, but I got the key to the gallery one day, and had to have the work installed forty-eight hours later. It was either sleep overnight in the gallery both nights, or leave very late, walk quickly down the street to Eleventh Avenue. Catch a cab and eat out of our hotel’s vending machines for dinner. You know, Snickers and Fritos make for a good dinner at three AM. The other night I remember eating something slightly more nutritious. It was something. But the hour was later, and I don’t know what it was we ate.

I remember that leaving the gallery later was better than leaving at one-thirty. Leaving at two-thirty or three when all the men were catching cabs outside of Scores made us feel safer walking to Eleventh Avenue.

As my friend and collaborator on “Bread In The Sky”, Vince Wiggins would say, paraphrased from David Byrne, you really don’t want to know how the sausage is made, you just want it next to your eggs.