This was the scene in front of my art show opening last night. Utter chaos. Lines of people way out into the street. People on cell phones calling their friends to come down and see witty’s cool paintings. People destroying stuff. Kids in mohawks chanting something.
Ha ha ha. Okay, it was really just people waiting for a frickin’ punk rock concert down on the first level of the community center. Evidently they had run a promo saying the concert started at six, but it really started at eight and then there was pandamonium bordering on a minor “lets trash this place because we’re the Fuck-You Generation and we don’t have any video games to occupy ourselves while we calmly wait for the doors to get unlocked” situation.
We eventually tossed them this ugly sculpture that some artist had never picked up from another show. I yelled out over the noisy throng, “This is art. Look at it. Enjoy it. Destroy it.” I’m not really sure what made me say that last thing. Was I a little angry? Maybe. Was I ready to join their tribe? Sure, why not! Because it was kind of thrilling when some girl immediately broke free from the crowd and jumped on the damn thing and broke off the ball and started kicking it….something I’ve been wanting to do with that sculpture for months.
Did I mention that up until that point I had no idea that the doors were locked to the place where my art show reception was taking place and I was sitting there all alone feeling like an abject failure with absolutely no one showing up? “L” the Hippy Chick had come right when I got there at 5:15. She could only stay a couple of minutes since she was on her way somewhere.
And I had also had a conversation with a woman running a yoga class in the room next to the gallery with explicit directions bordering on militant, that I could not send anyone through her room to use the restroom and disturb their “Quiet Time”. She only had one person in her class and was playing really loud Anya music, which, of course, had me digging my nails into my leg, since I hate Anya, you know, ever since my Married Guy massage days.
But I should probably start at the beginning. The Hanging of the Art Show. I did add in a few new paintings and had a lot of trouble coming up with good frames. When my car broke last week, I was actually on my way to have a friend either help or give me advice, since she owns a framing shop and has been very generous with her time and an occasional free frame. But then all that stupid car stuff happened and nothing ever got done- frame-wise and I cried alot. But bygones!
I finally got everything to the gallery though and it being in a community center, I had to deal with some woman teaching a Spanish class in where I was going to be hanging my art. Fortunately she was nice about it, but evidently the Center was going to be losing some money on her “rent”. NOT.MY.FAULT. Big Blondie (the woman whose been my liaison with the gallery and asking me to write Third Person essays, etc.) was a little late. But she has a real job, of course. Now, please don’t think I dislike this person. Or ANYONE I MAKE FUN OF…I don’t. Right Charlemagne, my favorite ol’ Frenchman? I mean she’s a very nice young woman. It’s just that I’m a grumpy old woman. OK?
And for some reason after I unpacked everything and it was just laying on the floor, I suddenly felt totally intimidated. This woman is over 6 ft. tall and very very energetic and outgoing and I was just standing there feeling somewhat terrified to say anything. And while it only took about an hour to put my show up at the bakery with “J” back in July, it took three freaking hours here. Ugh! And unfortunately I don’t think it looks that good.
She’s evidently has put up many shows and knows certain rules like they have to be at 5 ft. height and can only be at odd numbers on walls. My work, unfortunately, is all different sizes and shapes and frame colors. There is absolutely nothing uniform about my work, so applying a formula to it, may not necessarily work. And to me it doesn’t. It sorta looks like a thrift store.
Fortunately or unfortunately, during all this, depending on how you look at it, she was very very bubbly about how great my work was. Yes, its nice to get strokes to your ego and Lord knows my ego could use a few thousand, but after a while of “Ooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo, this one is so awwwwwwwwwwwwesommmmmmme!!!!!”, it started to lose its potency. Plus now that we’re starting to get to know each other a little better, we’ll be sitting there talking quietly about something and suddenly she’ll yell “Duuuuude!!!” and scare the living shit out of me. Like last night when she said it really loud, and I jumped and then turned towards the door thinking “J” had finally gotten there. But no, he hadn’t. I was, in fact, Dude…and was Dude for the rest of the evening, and possibly will be Dude forever. Dude “witty” McGiver.
She’s also interested in writing me a grant for an art project. I had mentioned I did this thing where I shot a self portrait of myself every day for a year. I mean artists ARE narcissists after all, so why not? But now that I’ve mentioned this, she totally wants me to do a show of all the self portraits.
Even the nekkid pictures? Eek.
So I sat for almost an hour in the gallery waiting for the crowds AND the masses to come. I had brought food and some CDs to play. Although I was now afraid that the Yoga Teacher might come over and dispense bad karma on me if I played Billie Holiday any louder than Anya.
By then, I was feeling rather depressed, and went down the elevator to see the huge crowd of rocker kids and two people I knew. JS from my art class and another person I know from the community. When I opened the door, they told me they had been locked out for a while. So they came up and stayed briefly, since JS was out Art Trail hopping with his wife, I believe.
I also started getting people coming up in the elevator for the “Talk to the Lawyer” thing that usually happens on Thursday night. And Jesus, the reaction from one guy when I said the lawyer thing was cancelled. Oy! He flipped out! He was swearing, stomping around, saying he had gotten off work early to see the lawyer and why wasn’t he there. Again NOT.MY.PROBLEM. Although I was sitting there in my head going, you better not knock that painting off the wall, dear sir, otherwise you might really need a lawyer. Fortunately, there are security cameras in both rooms but I’m sure it would look like I was attacking him, rather than he was attacking my art.
Just don’t call it “fun”, buddy.
Zue finally stopped in. I try so hard to like her. She was fairly well behaved at the gallery and didn’t try to sell Big Blondie any real estate, so that was good. She also insisted on taking some photos and had her hands all over me. Hands around my shoulder and neck, trying to do funny photos with my art. Thanks.
The “show” finally ended at 8 p.m. and not a single person from the Art Trail thingie had come through. Not one. I had even had my name listed in our main newspaper on Sunday. I was somewhat thrilled being called a multimedia artist, although to be honest, I was more even thrilled to learn that my name was included for the first time on the promo poster for the Sci-Fi/Monster/Big Boobed Woman Art show coming up October 4th. My name on the “****” poster! Woo! They’re like collector items. Now that’s something I’m proud of.
Me…waiting for somebody…anybody to arrive….Look at those chips! Yum!