A week after missing a day of work I received a phone call from work and almost had a heart attack. It was a friend, who just wanted to remind me that the next day was the art showing and I should arrive early for the setting up of the art exhibit. The gallery is a hallway converted for art to be exhibited. A row of stage lights lines the ceiling all along the passage way as well as a little bit around the corner. Arriving early with two bags of art, I walked through the entrance area and was asked what I was carrying. Decapitated heads was the snappy remark that came to mind, however I just said that it was a surprise.
The group that puts up the artwork at these displays are made up of six or eight women that each have a duty assigned to them and they all take part in hanging the artwork. There is one man that helps out and happily does so.
The group was glad to see my loot and me as so far only three others had submitted works. Incredible woodwork was already sitting at the base of the wall, woodwork of portraits of Picasso and the Three Stooges. Three photographs of great caliber and photo-shop knowledge also were submitted. A painting of a Chevy Impala was submitted, however I felt urped at the artist when he was asked what year was the classic car and he responded he did not know.
My art was placed along the wall for spacing and the pre-made labels were dispersed. When I signed up for the showing, I had put down a “Self-Portrait,” “Ladies of Grey Gardens” and about seven “Portraits” down in the forethought that I did know at the time which portraits I would submit. When I did bring out the portrait of “Robert Pattinson’s Unruly Hair” it was labeled, by a resident, as a self-portrait. I am not that full of self-disillusion.
The man hanging the pictures asked about the “Self Portrait” after I sorted the labels out and wondered which of the people in the portrait I actually was. It was not the nude Billie Joe Armstrong and it was not the sleeping River Phoenix, however when I did say that it was the man sitting in the middle as the focal point he observed that I shaved a few pounds off. Well, damn this is how I see myself.
The actual portraits of Billie Joe Armstrong had to share a pre-made label as I over did my number of entries by one.
The “White Sweater” was a choice of a quiet portrait. I left any explanation to none and I have not been asked whom the person was. No one would know who the person in the white sweater was.
The “Ladies of Grey Gardens” were received well however I did have to correct many, as they are perceived as men. I said that was going for a Michelangelo look to my women. This illustration and the Self Portrait did give an impression that I was a fan of the Lord of the Rings. This caught me off guard, as I did not do any intentional Lord of Ring art as a subject matter as I had five years prior with Frodo that still haunts the memory of many. However, one morning a guest did ask if I was a Lord of the Rings fan and I said yes. She stated that her son was as well. The fact that I had just bought a book on the Lord of the Rings artist Alan Lee who draws like I do and I tried to incorporate his style into my works at the time.
A last minute substitution was of “Some Call Me Tim” from John Cleese portrayal in Monty Python’s Search for the Holy Grail. The original choice for the show was “The Morning Stare” as I wanted a humorous art piece, however I had written explanation to go along with “Tim” and I wanted the exhibit to make people laugh.
A few days prior to the exhibit, I did “It’s not the Years, Honey, It’s the Mileage,” a portrayal of Harrison Ford as Indiana Jones from his last film. Done specifically for this showing, I did the portrait with the idea that most of the population from the
area would know who Jones is. In the end, it was Robert Pattinson’s portrait that caught everyone’s eye. In fact I had a bid for it on the first day.
Three weeks later since the showing started and all I heard was mostly about Pattinson and not a word about Jones. To quote the almighty Chuck Berry, “As for the old folks go / it just goes to show you never know.”