This months First Friday at the Banana Factory has come and gone and this month, despite expectations to the contrary, attendance was again low. We artists thought that since the weather was finally nice and it was our first open house of the fall that somehow things would turn out differently. At this point after some 15 months of First Fridays, that lower attendance is the norm and that until a plan for some systemic change with the event is put together, things will likely continue this way. Despite the attendance I did manage to have a good evening and had some wonderful conversations. So let me run down the evening with you.
As I said the evening started out slowly. There was supposed to be some spill over from a day long teachers conference put together by Lehigh University but few if any folks stuck around afterwards. I hear that a group of these conference attendees stopped by in the morning but unfortunately I had to work. My first visitors of the evening were a delightful mother daughter pair. The daughter attends Nazareth High School and needed to ask artists questions on their process. This seems to be one of the few constants with First Friday lately, these high-schoolers stopping by to do their homework . This young woman tickled my vanity with questions about the fanciful titles of my artwork and compliments about the narratives behind the works. Any excuse for an artist to talk to the public about their work is an opportunity that shouldn’t be wasted I think, and I’m attempting to change my outward demeanor when folks stop by the studio to take advantage of the good will that often comes with a smile and friendly disposition. Anyway the one work this young woman liked the most was a piece I call “Mega Spacey Hit Parade”. Its a piece I made in the 2000’s set in space in which I use the heads of porn-stars as the stars in my nights-sky. I explained to them both that my goal was to get the viewer to see the lurid twinkle in these porn-stars eyes. I’ve showed the work here once before but here it is again. See if the eyes catch you now that you know what I was aiming for.
As the night progressed I received visits from my friends Telly – who talked about seasonal depression with the days getting shorter and about the new frames on my “Behold the Loathsome Temple of Doom” pieces. He generally liked them. I just got my Temple of Doom works back last Wednesday from a show at the Stoke Bar in Easton.
My friend Tyrone Webb visited again, and is still battling his soon to be ex-wife for custody of their kid. Its so sad to see people in divorce proceedings. It makes marriage so unattractive to many younger people I feel. Tyrone again stayed with me for most of the night and was great and encouraging company. Manning a studio all night can be pretty boring if your by yourself. I’m actually trying to get Tyrone a studio at the Banana Factory so if your listening out there let Tyrone in. He’s a natural fit to our group of artists.
Lets see, what else happened. Well I see in my notes here that I got a visit from another Nazareth High family. They seemed most interested in when I consider a work done. I showed them installation shots of my work at different stages of completeness to show them how intensely planned my seemingly random paintings are and how many layers are in most works. I got another visit from a family who encouraged me to look into the artist Franck de las Mercedes whose work is amazing. See a link to his site here. What else, Okay I see here that Tyrone was giving me Instagram advice. Apparently #artnerd2016 and #artmastery are good tags for work. That website by the way is addictive but a complete mystery to me to navigate.
It looks like the evening ended with my meeting my friend Matt Wolf and his father who were both very pleasant. The father showed me amazing pictures of mammatus clouds, you know, those buttermilk pillowy clouds that apparently mostly appear in valleys. Here are a few I found on google:
Well that’s the end of my notes for this First Friday. Here now is the layout of my studio this time around, notice the new frames on the Temple of Doom pieces:
For my music selections this week I again have been relying on my friend King Rodriguez who is furthering my reggae education and sharing some other artists and videos too. This week I got into Mr Vegas and his song “Bruk it Down”, “Best I Ever Had” and “Come and See me for Once” from Drake, and my favorite Kanye West and his new Video “Fade”. Here are videos of “Fade” and “Bruk it Down”
Okay that’s it for this post. Next I’d like to return to the election and look at this new attack Trump has launched bringing into light Bill Clinton’s infidelities. I’d like to muse on slut shamming and what it means in this years elections. Okay until then do be well.