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Saturday, September 9, 2017


Generally, I’m not keen on the cutting edge contemporary art museums and galleries. Most of them, it seems, display work that probably, to the artist, seemed like a GREAT idea at 2 a.m. after smoking three and a half bones of Bruce Banner but don’t hold up so well/so clearly the next morning. Ya know, 90% intellectual circle jerking and 10% soul.

So then, given my annoyance with these joints (for the most part), why did Felicity and I go the the ICA here in Boston yesterday?
1) I hadn’t been in a zillion years and def not since they moved to the new building down in the  Seaport District. I heard the architecture’s brill (it is) and figured it’d be worth a visit for that alone.
2) Why the fuck not? It’s good to view weird art. It sets my bean whirring even if all I’m thinking is “What the fuck?” and “The curator must be bangin’ the artist because there’s NO bloody way this belongs in a museum.”
Happily, the Boston ICA was different. There was only one floor open as they’re in the midst of installations (clearly, I have to go back) but it was a honey. Two artists hit me right off.

The first piece I saw, upon entering, was Henry Taylor’s “i’m yours.” (at left) LOVE this! The colors, shapes, form, expressions and style just knock me clean out. They touch my core.

Then I came across this photo/story by Sophie Calle. She’s an absolutely intriguing French writer, photographer, installation artist and conceptual artist. This photo, with captioned story below, really drew me in.
I was twenty-seven years old. I was hired as a striptease artist in a traveling carnival which was set up for the Christmas holidays at the corner of Boulevard de Clichy and Rue des Martyrs. I was supposed to undress eighteen times a day between 4 p.m. and 1 a.m. On January 8, 1981, as I was sitting on the only chair in the trailer, one of my colleagues, to whom I refused to give my seat, tried to poke my eyes out with her high heel and ended up kicking me in the head. I lost consciousness. During the fight, she had, as the ultimate stage of stripping, torn off my blond wig. This was to be my last performance in the profession.
Is this autobiographical? Is this fiction? Does it matter? I want more of the story and MORE pictures. The more I read about her the more I think – she’s someone I’d love to interview, whose life I want to read more about (DO check out that Guardian link), I’d like to paint her but I’m not sure we’d be great buds. Boundaries – she may not have ‘em. I do. Still, she seems like a real thrill ride creative human. More please.

this was my favorite Dana Schultz in the exhibit
Bunny Head by ME!
And then there’s Dana Schultz.

I believe I’m stratospherically jealous. Why? Fer fuck’s sake, some of her canvases are around eight by fourteen feet (at least!). Being able to go HUGE, to stretch out like that, to be able to tell a whole story on one bloody canvas. Geez. AWESOME! Another reason I’m envious. She’s only 41 and has been exhibited at the Musée d'art contemporain de Montréal, the Kestnergesellschaft in Hannover, Germany, at the Galerie Emmanuel Perrotin in Paris, she was included in this year’s was Whitney Biennial (!!!) and she’s got this major show at the ICA here in Boston.

I look at her work and think – yeah, she’s got talent but her colors are, way too often, chalky and her style/her technique’s adolescence by way Picasso. Meh. I like my work better – I’d love my work better if I could work on room size canvases too. How come I’m not all big and famous like her – HMMMPH.

Well, making it in Art World isn’t just about having talent and vision. Possessing a blinding, Jedi-esque talent for networking, making connections, selling yourself is imperative. Marketing me’s a skill I never mastered (this being a Denali sized understatement). Not having to work to pay the rent helps a whole lot too.

So, indeedy, I’m feeling a bit green-eyed monstery. I'll get over it.


  1. Bunnyhead is great and deserves to be seen.

    I understand about the marketing thing. I have piles of writing that I suspect are okay stuff, but everybody's got a dominant brain hemisphere, and practical stuff like marketing and seeing money opportunities must be on the side of the brain I don't have access to.

    Everybody needs a good business partner, I guess.

    1. Thanks Harry!

      And I'm sorry you have the same self promo issue as me. Some folks marry a great biz manager. Me? Bob was just the same--loved to write vs paint--just not a marketeer.

      Ah well, we create for its own sake, because it feeds our souls, not for fame and glory (which I totes would NOT turn down!).