Thursday, March 29, 2012

Jesus and the The Pawn Shop

Two little boys, ages 7 & 9, came into the Museum of Art in Bangor. Have I told you this story before? They were greeted by the gallery technician, who helpfully held the door for them. Inside, the docent gave them a children's scavenger hunt, and let them loose in the galleries, even though it was posted that children must be accompanied by an adult. The went in armed with a blade, and found my piece, Rosary, on their scavenger list of things to spy. They took out some kind of a blade, sliced off eight items, and pocketed them. At some point soon after (within the hour) they arrived at the Frati Pawn Shop up the hill, and presented part of their treasure: 

one peacock feather (crown only)
one "brass knuckle" (actually a paintbrush holder)
one antique key
one glass prism 
one rhinestoned bow-shaped pendant
one washer
and one very shiny, bling-y Jesus medallion. 

This is only seven items. The eighth one they kept as a souvenir: a brand new condom,
 still in it's wrapper.* Even so, the pawn shop owner took one look at their curious loot and called the police.

The police brought the little brothers into the station and questioned them. It has been reported that they alternately claimed that they thought the museum's scavenger hunt wanted them to take the items, and also that the list of  rules I printed on aluminum which accompany the piece, told them to "pick up one object a day." ONE object. I am not buying any of that nonsense, and apparently the cops didn't either. At that point the Bangor Police Chief called the Museum Director at his home, and let him know what had happened...and the museum staff still had no idea that anything had transpired.

Since I declined the offer to sue or press charges, the cops were free to sit on their hands and forget the whole thing. I was refused a copy of the police report (requested with the names blacked out) because the anonymity of the children needed to be protected (?!). I asked that the cops demand answers to three questions (How much did they think they would get, where did they get the idea to go to a pawn shop, and what kind of art do they like), and the cops refused. I was told that the parents were "not so good."

I liked my friend Autumn's idea that the kids spent their afternoons at home watching Pawn Stars.

When George and I went up to Maine to take our shows down this weekend, I was presented with a cracked plastic to-go container with my items inside, and a childishly scrawled handwritten list of contents. (Condom omitted again**) We went to the pawn shop to thank the owner, and maybe take his portrait, but the shop was closed. It looked like all he sold inside were guns and guitars, but more on that later. When we returned to the gallery to resume our laborious packing, the museum tech showed us an article in the local paper over lunch. The article recounted a crime, perpetrated by two little boys, ages 7 & 10, who had stolen a laptop from an unlocked room at the local middle school. Perhaps one of them had a birthday?

* ** The purple wrapped Lifestyles condom was one of the multiple offerings left by visitors at the RISD gallery where I first exhibited the piece two years ago. Easy come, Easy go.

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

What a Difference a Month Makes

My aura has changed. At the end of January (Aura on the left), my head chakra took over and tried to turn me into a foggy,
swampy pink ghost, caught up in a cotton candy cloud of my own anxiety and pensiveness. I was so internal that I
was barely moving, blood was barely circulating. Yesterday I went back to have another reading (Aura on the right), and my
root chakra was moving and shaking things up. I have energy and money and relief coming my way next month. But my
heart is still dark, dark dark dark. Where is the color over my heart?


Painting by Kime Buzzelli

The fabulous Madame Fortuna, AKA my astral sister, is going out to LA for a trunk sale of her drool-y jewelry on Sunday March 25th, 2-6 pm @ Model Citizen Studios!

Superstar and former purveyor of my favorite LA store (Showpony) Kime Buzzelli made her a gorgeous invite...

Madame Fortuna's not-so-secret mission from me is to scope it out & see if our future creative empire,  COLOR COMMUNITY, should be founded amid the sunshine and succulents of Southern California. March in New York is always rough, and this one might be warmer, but as usual I feel damp and broke and ready to bolt. But look at the colors from Ms Buzzelli! She's clearly not damp at all.

Monday, March 5, 2012

George Herms Broke My Heart from 3000 Miles Away

The LA artist George Herms, who has been making work since the 1950's, started making collages last year. When I prop-styled a Paper Magazine fashion shoot for a friend last month, I was given a courtesy copy of the previous issue. In a taxi on my way home, I discovered what I thought was my own work on the back page. It was, in fact, a George Herms. After some more research, I discovered that all of Herms work is wonderful (installation, sculpture, collage, etc), and all of the press he's been getting is so great for an overlooked artist in the cannon.

However, it also sent me into a tailspin. His new foray into collages look exactly like the collage series I have been working on since 2008. Now, to be fair, there are some differences. Where I let recognizable objects sometimes creep into the collage, he does not. My pieces therefore have more narrative content. He is looser and more fluid with his resulting edges and shapes, and I have started to control them more. His collages may be a bit better than mine in their fluidity and total rejection of the source imagery's origins. His collages are also more directly relatable to his found object sculptures, which he doesn't disguise and alter with resins and paints and plasters, as I do.

I think the takeaway here is that as a younger artist, I must accept the fact that I am not yet visible enough in my career to be recognized in the discussion of his new work. He should gain recognition for his long and disciplined practice, and maybe I should be more nimble – I should be able to switch feet and dance a little differently in response to these recent developments. It burns, but it's maybe it's a challenge.





If only I lived in Prague