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Archive for the ‘family’ Category

Unsee The Seen

I flew solo on the art tour last night. My first stop was Space Galley to see their new show. Once again, they hit it out of the park. After Space, I stopped in Urban Mud, a new clay gallery opened by Mary Mackey and a few partners. Mary showed me some new medium sized vessels she’s working on. All looked promising. My final stop on Santa Fe was Mai Wyn Fine Art. I needed to pick up a pair of earrings I bought for Cindi’s birthday which was few months ago. I also wanted to talk to Mai Wyn about the Jackson Hole Art Fair which a number of Denver galleries had booths in, including Mai Wyn. The show was a bust. An add was taken out in the local paper encouraging people to boycott the fair so that art sales would not be taken out of the local ecomomy. It’s a shame someone would do that.

My next stop was Redline for the opening of counterART: Aesthetics of South Korean Activism + Global Perspectives. Here’s a summary of the exhibit from their website:

In the wake of the 30th anniversary of Tiananmen Square and ongoing protests in Hong Kong, CounterART: Aesthetics of South Korean Activism will examine public protest in East Asia through the lens of art. It is the first exhibit in the U.S. to focus on works of art created during the 2016 South Korean Candlelight Revolution, a distinctively peaceful anti-government protest that led to the dramatic impeachment of President Park Geun-hye, the first female head of state in East Asia. The widespread protests and creative participation that took place are an empowering case study for how art can shape political narratives and become an outlet for public participation. CounterART features works of art created as mechanisms for socio-political change within the political discourse of South Korea. The exhibit will feature 30 works of art by 14 established and emerging artists, including Oksang Lim, a Seoul-based artist who was a key figure in the historic Minjung (“People’s”) Art Movement, a political and populist art movement in the 1980s. Through Lim’s art one sees the intersection of South Korean history, politics, and visual traditions that gave rise to the forms employed by the artist-protesters.

It was a very interesting show with most of the attendees being Asian, There was a noticeable lack of the local art crowd, which usually flocks to the groundbreaking exhibits shown at Redline. I wondered why the event was so poorly attended. I enjoyed the art, especially the effigy of the current United States president, which doubled as a kick ball. Attendees enjoyed kicking the ball around. I want to go back for a second look.

My last stop of the night was EDGE Gallery, which moved into a new space one block east of their previous location in the 40 West Arts District. Faith Williams and Stephen Shugart presented new works. I really liked Stephens’s light sculptures.

While at 40 West, I ran into Mr. L. We has a brief but friendly conversation. I noticed he was touring the galleries with a woman who is a local artist. I thought nothing of it at first. Then I noticed there seemed to be a lot of touching and body language which lead me to believe there were on a date. I really didn’t want to see this so I kept positioning myself so they were out of view. The couple kept moving into my eyesight as if to make sure I could see they were together. Mr. L. knows I’ve been spending time with Mrs. L. so he may have been testing me to see what I would do. They were hanging on the each other which confirmed my suspicions. I wish I hadn’t seen the couple together. I wanted to unsee what I had seen. I wanted to text Kelly but I knew she would probably inform Mrs. L. who was at an event across town in RiNo. I decided to keep my mouth shut. I don’t want to be a gossip. There were plenty of other fixtures of the local art scene present who will spread the news around town. I just need to sit back and let that happen.

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Art and Friends

My friends drove back to Santa Fe on Sunday morning. I had great time with them. We toured almost every gallery and art venue in town. Stops were made at a dispensary on Thursday and Friday evening for “supplies”. We attended the grand opening of the new Space Annex gallery on Thursday night before having a leisurely dinner at Potager which is one of my favorite restaurants. The ladies toured the Denver Botanic Garden Friday morning while I worked. Friday afternoon was spent shopping in Cherry Creek. I picked the ladies up at the hotel on Friday evening for a tour of the Co-op galleries. Along the way we ventured over to the west side of town for dinner at a Vietnamese restaurant as Santa Fe lacks certain types of ethnic food. On the way back to the hotel, we drove by the $50m Meow Wolf construction project, which got its start in Santa Fe. Saturday morning the ladies toured the Denver Art Museum and the Clyfford Still Museum. The women were awed by Clyfford Still’s large scale paintings and by the sublime architecture of the building. A friend joined us for lunch on Saturday who, coincidentally, follows two of the women on Instagram. After lunch we toured the high-end galleries in the Golden Triangle, Santa Fe drive and LoDo. The women were very impressed by the offerings and rosters of talent in the commercial galleries. After the galleries, we had drinks at the Cruise Room in the historic Oxford Hotel in LoDo just steps from Union Station. The women enjoyed our dinner at Potager on Thursday night so much they wanted to go back for second meal. We had another wonderful meal at Potager while we rehashed the art tours and venues. We saw a $50 painting on Friday night and a $150,000 painting on Saturday afternoon. Surprisingly, The women concluded the Denver art scene is more vibrant and inclusive than Santa Fe.

It was the best weekend I’ve had in a long time. I seldom get to spend the better part of three days touring art venues with friends. I look forward to their next trip to Denver.

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A Survivor, Not A Victim

I watched the Surviving R Kelly documentary over the weekend. I only watched it because my cousin is a co-executive producer. I knew a few of his songs and had seen him on various award shows, but I never followed him, or cared much about him. The documentary was disturbing and appalling. I was relieved to see that most of the women who were abused by R Kelly have moved on with their lives and can now be seen as survivors, and not, victims. And now investigations have been opened because of the documentary. Did you watch it? What did you think?

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Just A Mutt

Morgan, the relentless bargain hunter, found a two for one deal for Ancestry’s DNA test. Morgan’s husband had previously had his DNA tested, but frugal Morgan declined to do so as he didn’t want to pay $99. Morgan asked me if I wanted test my DNA. I’d been thinking about it for a while so I agreed.

I got my test results on Saturday. Morgan’s has yet to be processed, which is strange given we mailed our kits on the same day from the same mailbox. I even mailed mine six hours later than Morgan.

Growing up, I always thought I was mostly of German descent. All of my relatives on my dad’s side of the family have German surnames. My mother always insisted she was French with a little bit of English thrown in. My mother has very French surname and insisted all her children take French in high school.

The results didn’t agree with my parents. I’m a true mutt. My DNA is 48% English and Welsh, 24% German, 16% Irish and Scottish, 10% French and 2% Norwegian. I called my father to share the results. He was surprised by the findings. I asked if he wanted to do a DNA test. He quickly declined my offer to pay for the test. I found his reluctance surprising. Is he hiding something?

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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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