Thursday, December 20, 2012


Dave and I don't make it to representational art galleries very often, what with living on an island where the main artistic output is totem poles.  Luckily for us, we make it out to NYC once a year to visit my in-laws, and that's when we nerd it up.  We compile a list of galleries, plot them on a map, and go.  We alternately praise and talk smack about our peers ("Wall-eyed ellipses? Oh no you di'n't!"), and if I'm really lucky, swipe a price list at Eleanor Ettinger Gallery and figure out how much money the featured artist made at their show that month, and what I would buy for myself if I had that much money.  It's easy because Tiffany's is right across the street and I'd only have to purchase one thing.

Now there's one thing that makes me really uncomfortable.  It's the fact that I can't seem to last more than four minutes in a gallery before the owner asks me if I'm an artist.  I might have a giant tattoo on my forehead.  Maybe its my uncamouflaged artist desperation.  Or maybe it's the muttered fragments they pick up from us, like "Shiiiiit, that is sew tewtally a Troy Stafford frame," or "Eeewg, the paper is delaminating!"  Whatever it is, it makes me uncomfortable that they're seeing something that I'm not.  Like they have x-ray vision and know that a foot-long thread has unraveled from my underwear elastic and I haven't shaved my legs in...a while.  And in spite of the fraction of gallerists who are super cool to us, it's also kind of embarrassing, like they think you're there to grovel for representation.  Sometimes Dave and I lie.  We will actually make something up, I kid you not.  Dave has been a teacher, I have been unemployed.  Yeah, sometimes unemployed is better than being an artist when you're snooping around in a gallery.  If you're unemployed, you're a cockroach.  If you're an artist, you're a hungry cockroach.

After being outed twice today, though, I decided that the next time a gallerist asked me if I was an artist, I would tell them that I was indeed an artist, and that I specialized in feline portraiture.  It's a booming market, actually.  Did he know that, like, everyone has a cat?  And people who have cats, you know, they're like artistic.  So they like art?  It's good money, like two hundred dollars a drawing?  And they're family heirlooms that, like, can be passed down through the family?

I am still so bummed that for some reason, the next four galleries didn't accuse me of being a sniveling bum artist.  But I have resolved to make myself some business cards with a kitty drawing on them so that I can hand them out the next time I come the NYC.

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