Saturday, May 19, 2007
Realism/Abstraction and Lisa
I thought I'd give myself a mini-exhibit called Realism/Abstraction. Is Gerhard Richter the only artist who can get away with this? Because I really had fun doing the abstract.
I had my dealer over for dinner last night. I suppose she isn't technically my dealer because she doesn't own the gallery, but she is the Gallery Director and, next to Tom, one of the most important people in my life. We met ten years ago when I first took my work into the gallery. I had been in a few times and had an impression of her as a very tough, intense, somewhat scary person. At that time the gallery was a couple of notches above the places I had been showing, but I thought I would give it a shot. The owner wasn't very excited about me or my work (he has since changed that view) but Lisa seemed to connect with my work immediately and morphed into the picture of gentleness and sweetness as we sat and talked and looked over the paintings I had brought with me. That was a whole decade ago. Since then she has sold more work for me than I would have thought possible and tripled my prices along the way. And we have formed a very deep bond - the more unusual because although we are women of almost the same age (I am a year or two older) we are almost complete opposites. Had we gone to the same high school we would never have met: I was an artistic intellectual, she was a super jock; if we had somehow become acquainted I am sure we would have found each other utterly baffling. When we were both young women living in New York City we actually lived within blocks of each other in alphabet city, we probably passed each other on the street. I was going to the Art Students League: drawing my skeleton in the morning, painting in the afternoon, working in the Carnegie Hall coatroom at night (I still shudder to think how many expensive hats and coats I ruined...) thinking and dreaming about painting all day and all night. Lisa was working in the fashion industry setting sales records and dancing at Studio 54 'til the sun came up (she is a fabulous dancer). We live near each other again here in Vermont. I live with Tom and our dog and a lot of quiet; I think and dream about painting all day and all night. Lisa lives with her husband, three teenage boys (her son and two stepsons), lots of animals and lots of noise. And she gets my work like no one but Tom and makes a place for it in the world.
I really wondered what she would think of the abstract. The gallery is very, very conservative and shows nothing but realism - tight realism. I set it out casually in the living room, leaning against a bookshelf, and waited to see if she would notice. She did. She loved it, loved it, loved it, wants it in the gallery, wants to sell it. Thanks Lisa.