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Archive for the ‘family’ Category

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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What A Week!

It was another tough week at work. A product was released earlier in the month that was not ready for market. The software development was not completed. The company laid off the product manager a few weeks ago. The product manager neglected to tell the launch committee or the new product manager the product was not ready. It was like a fuck you for laying me off.

My house guests left early. It was an odd visit. There has to more to life than hooking up with guys. The relentless online search of Grindr and Scruff was annoying. It would have been nice to have a conversation without them scrolling through images on their phones. They take having an open relationship to new level.

My brother accused my sister of embezzling from the family trust. It was a situation that got out of control. It concerned a bank account my mother hid from my father so that it would not be included in the trust. This was typical of my mother. She was always stashing money away in case she needed it. My sister was the beneficiary on the account. My father asked my sister to close the account. My sister closed the account and kept the money. My brother had a fit when he found out. My dad called me to tell me he was sending me a trust payment equal to amount in the bank account. He had already given a check to my brother. I told my father to keep the money as I did not need it. A few days later a check arrived for $3,600. I can understand my brother being upset if the amount was in the six figures but, to me, a four figure amount is not significant. The money is not going make a difference in my life, or my brother’s life, but it will for my sister who continues to struggle financially. My brother is still upset that my father supported my sister for four years while she was unemployed. It didn’t matter to me. It’s my father’s money and he can do what he wants with it. I just know that if I ever needed financial assistance my father would send money. That’s a good feeling because my father and I don’t have a great relationship.

On the bright side, it’s Friday and I’m headed out to the galleries tonight.

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Ripping The Bandage Off

I went to the opening at Redline last night. The non-profit contemporary art center was having their ten-year anniversary celebration. The cavernous space was filled with fixtures of local art scene. I’ll need to go back for a second look as it was too crowded to get a good look at art. My favorite piece is this diptych by Stephen Batura. I love the non-traditional color palette. He’s represented by the high-end Robischon Gallery so I’m guessing this painting is close to ten grand.

After the gallery opening, I met my friend whose partner moved out of the house. He didn’t want to spend another Friday night alone in his palatial home so he hit a few bars. We had a late dinner and a good talk. He is in therapy now with his partner, which is a good thing. His partner showed up for the second therapy session stoned, which is not a good thing. The partner moved home for a week and then moved back into his apartment my friend is paying for.

I’ve known this man for twenty-eight years. It’s hard to watch this relationship flounder. It reminds me of what I went through a few years ago, except my partner didn’t want to go to therapy. He had checked out and started a new relationship. Writing that last sentence was like ripping a bandage off a fresh wound.

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Stopping The Cycle

I couldn’t find a card that said thanks for being an emotionally unavailable distant father with poor communication skills so I sent a gift basket. I made the required call to my father yesterday. He dropped the n-word in the course of conversation. I let fly. I just didn’t want to get into it with him. Why bother to make an issue out of it? He’s tired of being told he’s a racist and I’m tired of trying to change him. He’ll never change and will be dead soon.

I read blog posts and FB posts by people with the most wonderful fathers in the world. I couldn’t relate to any of them. I didn’t fare well in the father lottery. I didn’t fare well in the mother lottery either. I learned to make the best of it. I don’t understand what it is like to have a great relationship with a parent. At this point I never will. It’s probably a good thing I didn’t have children. I wouldn’t want to continue a cycle of bad parenting.

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A Heartless Soul

I was talking to one of gym pals yesterday. He recently lost his mother. He teared up as he told me he misses his mother every day. I gave him a hug in the free weight area that lasted a little too long but he needed it.

Later, I couldn’t help but wonder if there is something wrong with me. I have empathy for my friend but I can’t relate to how he is feeling. I don’t miss my mother. I don’t think about her. The anniversary of her death came and went. I didn’t remember. It doesn’t bother me that I don’t have a mother. I wonder if I’ve become numb to loss become because all of the death I experienced as a young gay man in the eighties, or, am I just a heartless soul?

My mother was a tortured woman who couldn’t find happiness. I hope she found some peace in the afterlife.

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The Ask

The DAM’s manager of individual giving invited Perry and I to a private reception on Friday afternoon. I feel an ask coming. I’m sure she’ll be surprised when she finds out I’m on hiatus will not be able to write a check. I’ve generously supported the museum for years so they’ll just have to wait.

After the reception, I’ll be meeting up with the usual suspects for the art openings. The first stop will be Walker Fine Art to check out the new works by Peter Illig. Stops are also planned at Spark and Rule on Santa Fe. The final destination is the grand opening of Next Gallery in their new space.

Friday night also marks the arrival of the last snow storm of the season. At least, I hope it’s the last snow storm. Hard freeze warnings have been issued. Let the adventure begin!

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Pleased And Appalled

Back in February, my mother sent me a rather large check for my birthday. The check came in an envelope with my mother’s name on the return address sticker. A note was enclosed written on my mother’s stationery. My mother died eighteen months ago.

My father is a very frugal man. He doesn’t like to waste anything. He uses my late mother’s checking account. He signs her name to checks. The checks are processed because my father never notified the bank that my mother had passed. There no sense wasting perfectly good checks! My father has never had a checking account, and at age ninety, I doubt he ever will. He will continue to use my mother’s account until he dies.

So what does an unemployed man do when he suddenly receives an economic boost? One would think he would pay the utilities, stock the pantry and make a few house payments. Not this unemployed man. I bought a piece of art. I also made a sizeable charitable donation in the hope that I will soon have income, and will be able the use a charitable deduction on the 2017 taxes. There’s nothing like planning for the future. And being charitable hopefully brings me some good karma for the job search. But buying more art? I should be seeing an addiction therapist. Thankfully, I still have a large balance in my emergency fund which takes covers my expenses. I’m sure Suze Orman would be simultaneously pleased that I have an emergency fund and appalled I bought art.

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