Well, that caught your attention, didn’t it??? I forgot to tell you what I did in San Francisco the day after I came back from Europe. Did I have a One Night Stand?……well, actually, I hate to disappoint you…..no. But I curated an art show at the Andrea Schwartz Gallery in San Francisco, and the theme and title of the show was “One Night Stand”—-the owner of the gallery’s idea, not mine…..but it turned out really well.
The gallery is a wonderful gallery of contemporary art, and when I closed my own art gallery a few years ago, Andrea took on several of my artists to represent them. She does a great job, and shows some wonderful work. And as we really respect and like each other, and have a similar appreciation of contemporary art, she has me curate a show for her once a year. And I love doing it. We’ve had some fun themes for the shows til now—-but she topped them all with the theme this year. I curated one in January in the beginning of our creative alliance, and now I do one for her every August. (Curating it means that I select the artists, usually the theme, then select the work by each artist, and decide where each piece will hang in the show. And it is a LOT of fun!!!)
We usually meet in January to decide on the theme of the show, and select the artists who will be in it, since it is a group show. We look at a ton of slides and images to decide who will be in the show. Some are artists I used to represent that she shows now, some are my old artists that she does not represent, some are her artists, and some are artists we find together, or that she has heard about. This show was figurative (not abstract work, given the theme), and once we decided whose work we liked, we reached out to those artists, and invited them to be in it. And everyone had a positive response.
We meet again in April/May to begin selecting the work of those artists, and the show begins to come together. But like any creative work (a book too), there is always a little flutter of nerves wondering how it will all fit together in the end. Hanging a group art show (work by several artists, in this case 8 of them) is a bit like putting a puzzle together, and all the pieces have to fit.
The first pieces of work we saw were a little racy, and I started to get nervous…..uh oh….and we saw some very interesting work. It’s fascinating to see how different artists will interpret a theme. An artist whose work I love, Gordon Smedt, had a man and woman’s shoes tossed on the floor, and it’s easy to imagine what came after. It’s a gorgeous piece of work that was a show stopper, as was a very large oil painting he did of a red condom wrapper. The piece is a lot of fun, and inspired me to buy a big blue crystal bowl and fill it with condoms in brightly colored wrappers, and people helped themselves to them liberally at the opening. An artist named Donald Bradford did some beautiful pieces of rumpled sheets with discarded clothes on the floor that were subtle and also very well done. Eric Michael Corrigan did a big painting with sofas and love seats on it, which left a lot to the imagination too. There was the work of an artist called Kunkel, who did several larger pieces, and some small ones with sayings inside bottle caps, “Fidelity is an acquired taste” was one. Sophia Harrison did works on glass, with collages of words that tell a story about sex and love and relationships. There was an interesting variety of pieces, and only one very small graphic piece by a Taiwanese artist called Pang. And the work on the walls definitely caught people’s attention at the opening of the show.
I flew back from Paris via New York, to appear on a TV show there (“The View”, with Barbara Walters and Whoopi Goldberg and the other hosts, and Lady Gaga was also a guest on the show that morning and was a knockout!!!) to publicize my new book, “Happy Birthday”, and I planned to fly back to San Francisco late that night, to hang the show the next day. (The curator decides where to hang the work so it works well together, and I curate these shows). But I cut it a little too close, and wound up on a plane stuck on the runway for 5 hours with a broken air conditioning system, that went nowhere, and got stuck in New York for another night. I took a 7 am flight the next morning, landed in San Francisco at l0:30am, local time, and was at the gallery at 11 am, to hang the show. That was a close one!!! And the next day there was a cocktail party for the opening, and the show was off and running. And everyone had a good time at the opening party!!! We sold several pieces of work that night, which is always a good sign. The show will be in the gallery for the month of August.
Curating shows for Andrea gives me a wonderful opportunity to keep my hand in the art business, which I love, see my old artists, meet new ones, and work with Andrea and her husband Steve Dolan, which is pure joy for me. I LOVE the art business and seeing what people create. Writing is very solitary and isolates me, and the art world is very different, and is a wonderful opportunity to meet new people and see old friends.
So I had a ball with our “One Night Stand”, and I guess it will keep people talking for a while!!! For me, it was a very chaste but enormously fun one night stand!!!
Follow this link to see the article about the show: