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Archive for the ‘art’ Category

Art Night

I flew solo on the art tour last night.  My art wingman, Bart, was off on a camping trip in Utah. There was another end of the world sky last night thanks to the forest fires burning north and west of Denver.  I took the photo of downtown when I arrived on Santa Fe.  Watching people wearing masks scurrying down the sidewalk away from downtown made the evening feel as if it was lifted from a sci-fi movie.  Oddly, there was no smell of smoke.  I stopped in two galleries on Santa Fe before heading west to check out the co-ops in Lakewood.  Very few people were out. Yesterday afternoon, the mayor issued an edict forbidding groups of more than five in an effort to bring down the rising COVID infection rate.  It felt good to get out of the house.  I had a chance to chat with a few of my art friends before heading back home and ending the night with Netflix.

Pete Yumi, Information Age Collapse, mixed media on canvas, $3,500, Pirate Contemporary Art.

Lydia Riegle, Living Bridge III, acrylic, graphite and oil on canvas, 40 x 30, #2,100, D’art Gallery.

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Art Night

After work yesterday, I drove over to Space Gallery to drop off a painting for framing.  While there, I previewed the new exhibit which opened last night.  I failed to secure a reservation for the opening so I was glad to see the new offerings in an empty gallery.  As expected, it’s another great presentation with stellar art.

After the gallery, I took a nap before having leftovers for dinner.  No hundred dollar dinner last night.  Bruce and CJ were back in the Midwest visiting Bruce’s family.  I’m guessing the new guy is back in L.A. 

I cleaned up before heading to the co-ops to see a few new presentations.  Bart passed on the galleries but wanted to meet after for drinks later.  Nothing in the co-ops thrilled me, which is not the say there was not good art to see.  I think I was in a funk.  I had seen the aftermath of a rather upsetting car accident on the way to the galleries, which may have contributed to my mood.  Several high-end cars were smashed and torn apart across two lanes and onto the embankment.  The highway was still open so no one was killed.  On the way home, the crews were still cleaning up the debris.  Traffic was back up for a long distance

I texted Bart after I got home.  I declined his invitation to meet for drinks.  He was chatting with one of his young online “friends” who looks emaciated like a meth addict. Bart didn’t mind the cancellation, which I’m guessing, meant he had other plans in the works.

I took up with my friend, Netflix.  I watched the remake of Boys in the Band. What a dreadful story.  I didn’t like the original and the remake didn’t thrill me either.  The guys are so cruel.  How could these guys be friends? The only thing they have in common is being gay.  Not the basis for a friendship.

A long candlelit bath followed Netflix. A little bit of Ambien helped me travel to dreamland.

A few art pics:

Noelle Phares, Gates Pass, acrylic, watercolor and guoache on linen, 40 x 30, $7,000, Space Gallery.

Abby Gregg, Urgent Water/Elusive Parasite, acrylic and oil on canvas, Pirate Contemporary Art.
Karine Leger, Travelling Sunset, acrylic on canvas, 48 x 40, $5,400, Space Gallery.

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We Could Split the Jet

Friday evening I met Bart, Bruce and the new guy at Walker Fine Art to check out the new exhibit, Land Lines which provides a contemporary spin on traditional cartography. It’s a beautiful show. Bruce found a number of pieces he liked.

After the opening, I had dinner with Bruce and the new guy along with CJ and two young women from Bruce’s building. Bart opted out of dinner as he had a pending hook up. The women, who I met previously, were dressed for dinner in tastefully short skits, stylish tops and four-inch heels. It was a long, but most entertaining dinner. We sat down at 7:45 but didn’t leave the restaurant until a little after 11. The food was excellent. One stand out was the oak fired octopus. I had pan seared steelhead trout. Desert was two dozen chocolate chip cookies for the table. There was never a lull in conversation which covered a wide range of topics but never veered toward politics. At one point, a post-Covid trip to Chile was proposed. One of the women suggested we could split the jet. With six people it would be less than flying first class. When the bill was presented the credit cards hit the silver tray. Two black, one silver, two gold American Expresses and my Costco Visa were thrown on the tray. Clearly, I was the one the low end of the economic spectrum. Bruce picked up the wine tab while the rest of us split the food. I got out of there for only a hundred bucks, which was most reasonable given the amount and stellar quality of the food.

It was a most enjoyable evening. A great way to end the work week and start the weekend.

Heather Patterson, Preserved, mixed media on panel, 45 x 45, $6,000, Walker Fine Art

Ben Strawn, Precarious Not Falling, mixed media on canvas, 56 x 48, $7,000, Walker Fine Art

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More Art & Gays

On Saturday morning, Bart and I met Bruce and his houseguest from LA at the DAM. The houseguest was a similar to all the other satellites that orbit planet Bruce. Late fifties/early sixties, in shape, handsome, well-groomed, educated and professional. The guys enjoyed the exhibits. Bruce especially liked The Treasures of British Art exhibit. After touring the museum, we walked around the Golden Triangle neighborhood. Stops were made at Walker Fine Art and the William Havu Gallery. Bruce found an $8,000 painting he wants, which means, he will buy it. What Bruce wants, Bruce acquires. After the galleries, we had lunch at the Rendezvous Café in the lobby of the History Colorado Center. We were the only ones in the café. We had a leisurely lunch with enjoyable conversation. After lunch, Bruce had to get on a business call. Bart and I declined an invitation to join Bruce and his houseguest for some hot tub time at CJ’s house. It was in the high eighties so the thought of sitting in a hot tub was not appealing. Bart and I knew there would be drinks with the inevitable passing of a joint, which, would lead to other activities. I didn’t want to spend the rest of the day liquored up and stoned as I had some things at home to attend to. We parted ways after making plans to attend Walker’s opening on Friday evening followed by dinner at Colt & Gray, where Bruce has a standing Friday night reservation. Looks like next weekend is shaping up to be another adventure.

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Art & Grief

Bart and I went to see Robert Brinker’s new works at Michael Warren Contemporary last night. It was a subdued crowd. The passing of RBG seemed to come up in every conversation. After the gallery we went for a drink. Bart had wine at the gallery and then a martini at the bar. He was much more relaxed after a few drinks. He let the walls down last night. He started showing me dick pics of his FWBs. He has quite the stable of FWBs. After I had seen enough he told me the last four picture were him. The man is blessed.

After the bar we walked down the street to Voodoo Donuts to pick up a few treats.
Bart bought donuts so I know he was liquored up. On the way back to my car we stopped for pizza slices at Fat Sully’s pick-up window. We enjoyed our slices while we watched the South Broadway street action and crowd. It was as entertaining as always. It was soon time to call it a night.

Today, Bart and I are meeting Bruce and his houseguest at the DAM. After the museum, were having a late lunch. I’m not sure what will happen after lunch…..

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Art, Art & Art

Bart has become my wingman for art openings. Spending time with Bart has allowed me to get to know him better. We’ve bonded over an admiration of Richard Meier and Zaha Hadid.

Friday night we attended a reservation only pop-up of Richard Eisen’s new work at Michael Warren Contemporary. Bart tinkers with photography so I wanted to take him to this exhibit. The pop-up didn’t disappoint. We had an engaging conversation with the artist. After the pop-up we headed west for a tour of the current show in the co-ops. Steven Shugart’s new works at Edge were the standouts at the co-ops.

Saturday morning we had reservations to tour Lavender Mist: Gay Men in Contemporary Art in Colorado. Bart and I were the only ones in the exhibit which was held in the cavernous McNichols Building in Civic Center Park. It was an excellent exhibit with works on loan from most of the high-end galleries in Denver. I knew most of the artist in the show. All were new to Bart. While at McNichols, we also toured Queer City of the Plans: An Artistic Look at Denver’s LBGTQ+ History. The exhibit consisted of five contemporary art installations focusing on storytelling, camp, resistance and the LGBTQ+ experience in Denver from 1859 to the present. We found the exhibit very educational. Who knew people were crossing dressing during the gold rush?

After the exhibit we headed to Greenwood Village for Art on the Green, a safely curated, all Colorado art fair. The exhibit was well attended but socially distant. It was good to see people out buying and viewing art. It was also good to see a few of my artist friends exhibiting their art.

At all the events, people wore masks and followed social distancing guidelines. People were well-mannered and courteous, which was a sharp contrast from the behavior at my gym where members are still arguing over masks protocols.

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Art Supporters

Bart, the architect as well as my new art wing man, and I attended a gallery opening on Friday night. I had a nice chat with the gallery directress. She told me the gallery sold two $16k sculptures and five paintings before I arrived. A great night for a high-end gallery in a pandemic with social distancing. It’s good to know the art collectors are buying again. The galleries and artists need their support in these trying times.

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Meeting an Icon

Friday night I had dinner with Bart before checking out two gallery openings. Over dinner, Bart told me how he planned to kill himself when he was in architecture school. While sitting across from Bart listening to the story of his dark days I studied his handsome face with its model-worthy perfect symmetry and jaw line so sharp it could probably cut paper. Bart is crippled with shyness along with having body image issues. I’ve known him for two or more years yet he’s now just opening up to me.

After dinner, we stopped by the Martha Daniel’s opening an Urban Mud, an art gallery and ceramic studio. Until a recent move to Palm Springs, Martha was one of the pillars of the Denver Art Community. Her innovative work is in the collection of several museums and has earned her an international following. She has cult-like status among artists here. The opening did not disappoint. I was able to introduce myself and have a short conversation with Martha over a video link to her home in Palm Springs. She was warm and welcoming as she explained her process and quest for unique materials to incorporate into her work. I felt honored to speak with Marth. I have seen her work for years but never had privilege of meeting this icon until Friday night.

After Urban Mud, Bart and I stopped by a few other galleries but nothing compared to the artistic mastery of Martha Daniels. We ended the night with a drink at Trade, one of the local gay watering holes. We had to sign in for contact tracing. Patrons had to remain at their socially-distanced tables while the wait staff served drinks. A mask had to be worn if you left the table to use the facilities. It’s the new reality of bar life in the age of COVID-19. We stayed for about an hour before calling it a night.

Martha Daniels, Red Nuke VII, hand built, fire glazed, lacquered clay, 2019, $10,000.

Martha Daniels, Balanced Fruits, hand built, fired clay, painted with auto body lacquers and coated with clear lacquer, 2020, $1,500.

Martha Daniels, Materia Matrix VI, hand built, fired, painted, lacquered individual open clay cubes of varying sizes, mounted in a painted welded steel frame, 2020, $2,500.

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Art & Gays

I had dinner with WM last night at a restaurant near his house. After dinner I took WM to an art gallery opening. On the drive to the gallery, WM told me about a killing he made on a stock sale this week. He only held the stock for six weeks but made an obscene amount of money when he sold the asset. Why did I pick up the dinner check?

The gallery had a small and intimate crowd as opposed to the pre-COVID-19 days of packed openings. The gallery was only allowing 8 patrons in every half hour to comply with Denver’s social distancing rules. Reservations had to be made in advance. Masks were required. The gallery patrons were mostly art collectors or friends of the artists. The art collectors were mainly gay male couples, which, is not unexpected given the gallery is owned by a gay male couple.

It turns out WM also knows the gallery owners from a running group they used to belong to. A mini reunion took place when we arrived. WM had not seen the owners for several years and I had not been in the gallery since COVID-19 arrived.

WM didn’t like the art I liked. We both agreed on a sculpture WM is considering buying for his backyard, which, is being re-landscaped. One of WM’s friends had been in the gallery earlier and purchased a sculpture and a few other smaller pieces. WM is going to consult with his art-collector friend on the sculpture before sealing the deal. The sculpture is simple and understated yet makes a bold statement. The sculpture would look great in WB’s back yard.

After the gallery opening, I hung out at WB’s house for a while before heading home. It was a most enjoyable evening.

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Art and Commerce

I attended an opening at Space Gallery last night. The event required a reservation for one of three time slots to avoid overcrowding and to allow for social distancing. I believe fifty people were allowed per time slot. I was there for less than hour but the cavernous gallery had plenty of space to enjoy the art and avoid other patrons. Everyone wore a mask. Food and drinks were not served. For me, the highlight of the show was Jeff Wenzel’s large-format abstract paintings. Jeff presented a new body of work which did not disappoint. He also had small works on paper at a reasonable price point. Not being able to layout six grand for a painting was motivation to snap up one of his paper paintings. I was able to justify the purchase by viewing it as helping to get the local artistic economy back on track. I also received a letter this week from the IRS informing me an audit of my tax return resulted in a three grand refund. I decided to pay it forward. It’s a win/win/win for Jeff, the gallery and me.

After Space, I headed west to check out two openings at the co-ops. I encountered sparse, socially-distant crowds. A few pieces were interesting but overall it was lacking.

I headed home after the co-ops. I took a walk around the neighborhood. At a recently completed renovation I saw a car in the driveway with the door open. It was before ten and the house was light up like birthday cake for a septuagenarian. I ran the bell. I introduced myself to the new neighbor before telling her about the car door. A socially polite conversation followed. I could see the house looked stunning on the inside of the stone-clad French country farmhouse which used to be a red-brick colonial. I can’t image what the renovation cost.

Soon I back at home watching a bit of Netflix before heading to bed.

Jeff Wenzel, Mother Load, mixed media on wood, 68 x 80, $10,000.

Jeff Wenzel, High Ball, mixed media on wood, 48 x 36, $5,000.

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