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Archive for September, 2018

Knocking It Out Of The Park

There are times when I look forward to the Friday night gallery opening with expectations of greatness only to be slapped in face disappointment. Artists or galleries with proven track records veer off course with less than stellar presentations. It happens. You take it in stride with hope the next round of openings will knock it out of the park. The start of fall art season here opened with bang and then fell into a whimper. Tonight’s round of openings one again proved there is a plethora of talent in the Queen City of the Plains.

Mack and I started the night at Walker Fine Art in the Golden Triangle. Walker presented another excellently curated group show with seven artist showing works. Our next stop was Goodwin Fine Art just a few blocks away. Goodwin had a double hitter of Jill Hadley Hooper and Mark Villarreal. I loved every piece in this show. Both artists at one point in their careers were members of Pirate Contemporary Art. It’s great to artists move from a co-op to a blue chip gallery.

Our next stop was the Santa Fe Arts District to see a juried show at Core New Art Space. I’m not always a fan of group, or juried shows, but there are some nicely executed works in this presentation.

Our final destination was the 40 West Art District in Lakewood to see what the co-ops were offering. Stops were made at Next, EDGE and Pirate Contemporary Art. Gayla Lemke is showing wonderful clay totems at EDGE. But the star of the co-ops was the Charles Livingston opening at Pirate.

Charles opened Catalyst (1,000,000), a multimedia performance piece that knocked it out of the park. Charles was cutting old bicycle inner tubes sourced from local bike shops. Think of it as the art version of farm to table, but rather bike shop to gallery. Charles sat silently in a black chair dressed in a black t-shirt and black jeans with his hair freshly buzzed. He had been cutting the inner tubes into small pieces since 6 p.m. The cut rubber pieces were piled on the gallery floor contained by black lumber. A pile of inner tubes sat on the floor next to Charles. Charles composed an ethereal soundtrack, which included some Brian Eno, that played in the back ground. Charles counted the number of cuts and tallied them by the hundred. There were also some mixed media pieces consisting of circles drawn on paper which was torn and covered in resin. I can’t explain why, but people were overcome with various emotions. I saw a number of men and women weeping. I felt overwhelmed with a feeling of awe. It was an art happening which I was experiencing firsthand.

It’s a night I will always remember. A night like the time I walked into Pirate many years ago and saw a four-foot wide continuous charcoal drawing by Peter Illig which wrapped around three walls of the gallery. It was stunning, as was Charles’ presentation was tonight.

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An Internet Star Is Born

Mack’s former roommate has a Tumblr page. It’s a naughty page. A very naughty page. He has posted pictures of himself, his boyfriend and other men. Most of the pics are X-rated. There’s no part of his body which is hidden from view. Some pictures show him engaging in relations with his boyfriend and other men. He’s doing something I could never do. What I find amazing is how many other blogs have reposted his pictures. He’s spreading across the Internet (no pun intended). He’s becoming an online star. Again, that’s something I would never want.

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Reward On Thursday

One of my peers is on medical leave for a knee replacement. She asked me to cover one of her product lines while she is out of the office for 16 weeks. She told me there is very little activity on the product. She also said there shouldn’t be any life cycle changes until 2019, and that none of the company’s pending acquisitions will affect the product line.

It’s been smooth sailing. That is, until today, when changes my peer instituted went live and caused some issues.

I know next to nothing about this product so I’ve been struggling to understand the issues and formulate a corrective action. The product manager is in India so we’ve only been communicating via email. It’s going to be a trying week.

On the other hand, there’s a Rembrandt exhibition opening at the Denver Art Museum on Thursday night that I’m looking forward too. It’s will be a nice reward for making it through this week.

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Being Sustainable

I bought a prAna t-shirt on sale at REI last weekend. It was made in a fair trade certified factory. All four tags on the t-shirt were printed on 100% post-consumer waste with soy-based inks. The tags also show it’s organic and recycled. Being sustainable with a price as the t-shirt originally cost $35, which is next to nothing compared to the $490 Saint Laurent t-shits available at Neiman Marcus. I practically stole the shirt.

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Rambling On About Nothing

I’m in a funk. It seems like every direction I look there’s unrest. The current political chaos is not helping my mood. I talked with Mike a few days ago. Nothing but drama with his ex who is still unemployed and wants a financial settlement. Mike’s still paying his rent and giving him thousands of dollars every month. Double A thinks the CEO is trying to oust him. Mack is still looking for full employment and is struggling financially.

After dinner last night with Rachel Maddow (she was on the TV), I went to an art opening just to get out of the house. I ran into a friend I hadn’t seen in a while who used to co-own a gallery. His business partner embezzled $60k and fled town which precipitated the gallery closing. Thankfully, he found someone to assume the $12k a month lease.

The art was stellar at the opening. I had a few interesting conversations. One friend was screwed over by a famous New York chef (initials MS) who is being flown in for a speaking engagement. The chef accepted another gig in Denver a few days before so her ticket sales are far below expectations. She’s going to lose money on the event. She contemplating litigation as there is a contract clause forbidding competing events.

I left the opening feeling down. I’m not sure why. I may still be sad about William. His memorial service is being held in a few weeks but I’ll be in Santa Fe. Cindi and I will probably have a drink in his honor.

It’s first Friday but I’ve seen all the offerings currently in the galleries. I’m not sure I’ll venture out but I don’t want to stay home.

I haven’t heard from the detective. That may be a good thing. I’m unsure about him so I’m not going to poke the bear (I know that term is overused). I think I’ll look for something new to poke.

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Sweet Billy

On Sunday, I was standing in Total Wine trying to decide on a wine to buy for a hostess gift when my phone buzzes in my pocket. I pull my phone out to see a text from Cindi with just two words. Billy died. I feel like I’ve been punched in the gut. My eyes tear up and my vision blurs. I compose myself as I have been taught to do. I grab a bottle off the shelf. I don’t care where it’s from, or how it’s described, or how it’s rated. I doesn’t really matter. I’m shocked to find out it’s a $50 bottle of wine at the checkout but the cost seems insignificant at this point. I swipe the credit card and sign.

I get in my car and call Cindi. The parking lot is packed and there’s a woman in a G wagon waiting for my space. She’s flashing her headlights trying to get me to leave. I get out my car and scream that I’m not leaving. She flips me off and drives away.

By this time Cindi answers. She burst into tears. She composes herself before telling me about a Face Book post announcing Billy’s death. No details given. Cindi is in shock just as I am. Sweet Billy has passed and we don’t know how or why. I tell Cindi I’ll put in a brief appearance at the cocktail party and then excuse myself. I agree to call Cindi in an hour.

I arrive at the cocktail party hosted by Mo to meet our new neighbors. I pull Mo aside to explain I’ve just lost a friend. I let her know I’m going to greet the other guests and then excuse myself. I make the rounds and then exit through the side door.

Sweet Billy was a fixture on the local art scene. He was one of those strikingly handsome men who can command a room just by walking into it. I’d seen him around town and in the galleries quite often but we operated in different social circles. Cindi introduced me to Billy about ten years ago. At first I was intimidated by his handsome looks but soon found out he was the nicest man. He had the most beautiful blue eyes. He was given the nickname of Sweet Bill. Once I got to know Billy, I found out he was kind, compassionate and caring. His partner was just as warm and welcoming. Billy gave me tips on emerging artists. I’d been to his house to see his impressive art collection. I’d had many enjoyable and interesting art conversations with Billy. Now Sweet Billy is gone.

After what seemed like a thousand texts Cindi and I sent, our questions were answered. Billy was diagnosed with stage 4 lung and liver cancer. The time between diagnosis and death was very short. It was a very aggressive cancer. Sweet Billy died yesterday.

I’m sad today. Billy’s death was sudden and quick. Billy had run one of the blue chip galleries but it recent years he transitioned into art consulting. He knew everyone on the art scene. It’s a great loss for the art community.

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I Was Kidding

In my Disappointment Drive 23 post, I mentioned felony convictions for money laundering and insider trading. That was meant to be humorous but it’s not true. I’ve never been arrested. No one in my family has ever been arrested. As far as I know, none of my aunts, uncles, grandparents or cousins have been arrested. I come from a family of rule followers. I’m sure there have been infractions along the way. It’s just that no one has been caught or arrested, yet.

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