Every so often after working really hard, an artist's professional role includes going to an exhibition opening . . . maybe, even at some distant location. When such events arise, I am often tortured trying to make a decision about whether it is worth the expense and time to travel to the opening.
How should one justify the time and expense for going to an opening? I am not sure, but when my artwork is in a museum exhibition in New York City, the opening seems like something of a bigger deal . . . but the "adventure" is much scarier, more expensive, and oh so many thousands of miles away. I deliberated with myself extensively, but when the curator said that I could stay at her house....I had to say "yes."
Traveling by myself is a real challenge for me. Serious effort. I'd much rather stay at home, work in the studio and exercise until I fall over exhausted than navigate subways and trains or eat in a restaurant by myself. Two weeks ago, one of these art adventures tested my endurance -- and I survived. In retrospect is was an empowering experience.
My departure started at the San Francisco airport at 5:00 a.m. However my not yet caffeinated mind spotted this painting by Wayne Thiebaud titled, "18th Street Downgrade" near my gate. The depiction of San Francisco's roller coaster hills reflected my heart pounding anxiety. My adventure had begun.
Why go to an opening? Is it worth it?
In retrospect, one good reason to go to an opening is to see your own artwork with new eyes. Instead of the humble circumstances in a studio laying on the work bench half formed, I saw my work installed magnificently and gloriously surrounded by powerful and interesting work by other artists.
The installation of my artwork was just amazing. My quick cell phone photos do not capture the presence or atmosphere.
The exhibition Evil: A Matter of Intent and the installations were truly of the best caliber. The organization, layout, and the lighting consistently enhanced the work.
It is impossible to show how exquisitely my artwork was lit to enhance the intent of the work. The blades of withered grass on Blight-World Hunger (left) had extra shadows. Blood-Water Pollution (right) had watery red reflections (just like water) bouncing onto the wall.
The vision brought to life by the curator and the professional installation staff was evident. I've seen my artwork displayed many times in 30+ years....and I've come to appreciate the superior skills and evident expertise that museum and exhibition staff bring to bear on how to install artwork. Their talents are all too often underestimated.
If you live in New York or are visiting in the next 6 months, I recommend making it a priority to view Evil: A Matter of Intent.
This week another adventure begins. This time to Washington D.C. for the opening of the Renwick Gallery. Below is shot of the invitation that arrived in the mail. Gold embossed lettering on a thick square of dense cardboard. This memorable invitation seemed too special to miss. My cocktail outfit is ready in my suitcase.