Archive for March, 2022

Recent Favorites

The galleries have been packed in recent weeks.  A combination of stellar offerings and a perceived pandemic end have brought the art community out.  There’s a joy and optimism prevalent in the local art world.  Here are a few favorites I’ve seen over the last few weeks.

Jeff Wenzel, Cyra, mixed media on wood, 72 x 48, 2021, Bitfactory Gallery.
Gavin Benjamin, Old World Luxury 9, photography, fine art canvas and lacquer, 24 x 30, Walker Fine Art.
Walter Barton, The Marton and the Guardians, mixed media installation, Pirate Contemporary Art.
Don Quade, Yves, mixed media on wood, 48 x 48, Walker Fine Art.
Kate McGuinness, untitled, monotype mounted on wood, 8 x 8, 40 West Arts.

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Rich Man, Poor Man

Bruce stopped by yesterday morning on his way home from the chiropractor.  He broke up with his boyfriend of eight months on Sunday.  Coincidentally, the boyfriend told me weeks ago he was going to break up with Bruce.  I never shared this with Bruce as I didn’t want to be in the middle of their relationship issues.  It’s a good thing Mike talked Bruce out of buying a BMW to keep at the boyfriend’s Florida house.  Although, Bruce did buy an expensive painting which was shipped to Florida.  I guess it’s the price of a breakup.

Bruce showed me pictures of his new love interest who he has been chatting with for a while.  Nothing like having the next guy waiting in wings until you end your relationship.  The new guy is moving to Denver from New York to work at a start-up.  He’s listed his Tribeca loft for $10m but will keep his second home in the Hamptons.  The new guy is a clone of all the other men Bruce has dated – early sixties, tall, good looking and in-shape.  This new guy is closer in economic status to Bruce.

Last Friday, I met 72-year-old man at an art opening who is living on a $1,000 a month social security check.  He worked in bars and liquor stores his whole life.  He doesn’t have a 401k or a pension.  He never made enough money to have a decent nest egg.  He told me he goes to art openings because they are free entertainment, and he can take public transportation to get there.  He also likes the free alcoholic beverages and food which are often served.  He’s looking for a job to supplement his income but given his age his options are limited. I told him about other galleries accessible by public transportation he could add to his list. 

Clearly, Bruce and I are fishing in different ponds.

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The Cranes Are Back

The sandhill cranes migrated through Colorado this past week. In Denver, the construction crane has returned. It never really left but its numbers dwindled in the last year. The construction crane is making a robust comeback. A new development on the west end of Cherry Creek Mall will add 7 new 12-story mixed-use buildings to the already congested area. And a developer has announced plans for a new 47-story building in the heart of downtown. I snapped these photos Friday night looking north and south on Santa Fe Drive.

Looking north
Looking south

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She Got The Boot

The VP I work under got the boot.  She was only with the company two years. She had two HR complaints filed against her by women who reported directly to her.  She made the announcement yesterday morning phrasing it in a way to make it sound like it was her decision.  A quick chat with a friend who is the Executive Assistant to one of the SVPs confirmed she was being let go.  While I think this woman is a great visionary, she often clashed with anyone who opposed her views and never seemed to be interested in the daily operations which make things happen.  I’m not sad to see her leave.  Of course, this makes the chances of my contract being renewed even slimmer. 

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Avalanche in Slovakia?

I was watching new coverage of an 11-year-old boy who crossed the Ukraine border alone with a few possessions and phone number.  When the boy was reunited with his mother in Slovakia, he was wearing a Colorado Avalanche ball cap.  What a small world! How crazy is that?

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Not A Good Sign

The company I’m under contract with has started laying off employees due to lower than expected quarterly revenue. That’s not a good sign. I highly doubt my contract will get renewed. Looks like retirement will be starting in a few weeks.

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Friday Night Favorites

The galleries were packed on Friday night. The mostly maskless crowd was full of life. I ran into so many people I knew who I hadn’t seen for ages. I ran into JP at the first gallery. We visited two other galleries together before parting ways. There were too many openings in too many different parts of town to visit in one night. I concentrated my efforts on Santa Fe Drive and the Golden Triangle.
Here are a few of my favorites.

Lynn Heitler, Deductive Reasoning, oil on canvas, 72 x 96, Space Gallery.
Mark A Lunning, To Be King, mixed media on wood panel, 20 x 16, Space Gallery.
Sushe Felix, From Sky to Earth, acrylic on panel, 24 x 24, Willaim Havu Gallery.
Kelton Orborn, A Moment is for Forgetting, 37 x 37, acrylic and graphite on canvas, Michael Warren Contemporary.

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Two Grand A Month

I hit the galleries on Friday night with JP. His late husband managed one of the blue chip galleries before becoming an independent art consultant.  JP knows most of the heavy-hitters of the local art world so introductions were made all evening.

JP is retired and lives off his late husband’s social security.  He lives in a penthouse condo with a stunning view of downtown and one of the popular parks.  JP has moved often as he bought and renovated properties most of his adult life to supplement his job as a hotel cater waiter.  His real estate deals allowed him to purchase his condo without a mortgage.

JP told me he lives on $2k a month.  I was amazed he could live on such a small amount.  My burn rate is a lot higher than JP’s. 

I spent most of the snowy weekend gathering tax documents for the accountant.  I reviewed my monthly expenses.  There’s no way I can survive on 2 grand a month.  That barely covers my house payment and monthly health care expenses. 

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Sooner Than Expected

The company I’m working for reported less than desirable fiscal results for the last quarter.  They have offered an early retirement package to management employees.  Many seasoned professionals are taking the offer and heading for the exit.  The company has also instituted a hiring freeze.  The next step is usually layoffs.  My contract expires this month.  I don’t expect it to be renewed given the bad financials.  Retirement may be coming sooner than expected.  I had hoped to work until August of 2023.  I just don’t have it in me to look for another gig.  Given my age and my billing rate it will be a challenge to find a position I feel is a good fit.  It looks like it may be time to apply for social security. 

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