Monday, February 16, 2009

Valentine's Day, Opening at the Space Gallery

Having done a few shows by now, this one was a show I normally would stay away from. I’ve learned there are three places one should avoid showing. Those include restaurants, cafes, and bars. There are more I could add to the list, but those are the main offenders. Unless the circumstances are exceptional, you risk getting into a situation where:

-you are decorating someone’s business for free
-artwork can be damaged by food, liquid, and theft if the business isn't properly insured or provide adequate protection.
-there is no promotion by the staff because they know nothing about you.
-your work won’t be hung with the best lighting, placing or curating.
-should your art sell, it’s possible you’ll never find where it went or who purchased it.

This show was an exception. The Space gallery is part bar/part gallery. It has a downstairs bar, with a large gallery space upstairs. While risky, the show gives me the opportunity to meet new people, explore SF, and get out of the studio for a day. Yay!

The evening started with an early dinner and some gallery hopping. The dinner was a disaster. Having lived in culturally deprived Paso Robles for the past 2 years, I was craving some good Greek food. Jeff and I stumbled upon a place that looked promising, or in the very least, authentic.

We sat down to a meal that was over-salted, under-seasoned, over-marinated, too cold, and over-cooked all at the same time. It’s one of the very few times in my life where I couldn’t figure out what type of meat I was eating.
Before leaving, I made the mistake of using the restroom. Getting there requires a walk through the kitchen, where chefs absent-mindedly hack away at a large slab of meat. Once there, I locked the door, and assumed a hovering position over the toilet, tights pulled down to my thighs. Suddenly the door swings open, and I’m in full glorious view of one of the kitchen staff. Lovely. Now I get to parade back through the kitchen, my dignity abandoned at the broken lock.

The night improved with some gallery hopping. Jeff and I stopped at the Shooting Gallery , where they were exhibiting a show by Patrick Segui. He makes these amazing dioramas out of cardboard.

Compared Anatomy

The staff was kind enough to bring out two paintings by Joshua Petker for us to see. I’ve been following his work for years, but never had the opportunity to see it in person.

After a few more stops, we headed over to the opening. It was 8:30, and things were just getting started. The show was varied mix, all mediums, all nudes. Work was squeezed in everywhere, and prices ranged from under $100 to the thousands.

Some live painting

The “scene” was here. People were dressed up, dressed down, a few wearing nothing at all. They mingled; champagne cocktails in hand. I tried my best to keep up. I met some artists, discussed the work, exchanged business cards, and met some possible new models, and new Facebook friends…but then this wave of heat hit the room.

My god, it was packed. By eleven, people were lined up waiting to get inside. They were five-deep waiting for drinks at the bar. Paintings were jostled in the stairway. I took up a post near one of my paintings. It was in a good spot visually, but as the room filled up, it became a magnet for leaning drunks. I watched in horror as a girl flicked her jacket across it, then leaned on it with her hand. By 12:30, I’d had all I could take. No one was looking at the art anymore; you could barely see it through the throng. I left my paintings to their fate. Oil paintings are tough little bastards.

Fellow artist, Mindi and I

The throng

The show was an experience. I had a good time, and an initiation to my new city. The fact there is a “scene” at all is an improvement over San Luis Obispo. I have to give credit to Chad Christianson and Gogogracie galleries for organizing the event.

There’s one more thing I need to mention. ONE token naked person at a gallery opening is fine. It’s entertainment. More than one, and any “performance” that ensues is disagreeable. Someone please disinfect my eyes.

1 comment:

gianlucio said...

Marni Hello, wonderful blog, where art is life, I saw the expression in your imaagine beautiful, congratulations!
I subscribe to your blog and I hope you will do with mine.
Buona domenica.