Monday, December 04, 2006

The Road to Art Basel

It all started with the Johnny Mathis interview on NPR this morning.

No wait, it really all started back with my mother dancing with me on her hip, or the constant daily radio music played during my pre-school days. Maybe it’s genetic, because I know that all five children are afflicted with it, though they would ‘fess up to it in varying degrees. Smarmy music…… ultra smooth voices singing along to overproduced orchestral arrangements. I love it. It brings tears to my eyes, I Iove it so much.

Sunday was spent on the road for 14 hours, heading to Miami for Art Basel. I soaped my trailer to psych myself up for the trip.

I was only on Rt 85 for about 30 minutes before someone honked and waved. I began to romanticize the scenario, in my own inimitable way. “We are all headed here on an art pilgrimage”, I thought. “All these trucks, and cars pulling trailers, are full of art, going to Miami…. I bet they are all listening to the same NPR program I am hearing right now!”.

Never mind that yesterday I was cynically grumbling about art fairs. Today I was thinking about how little the average American knows or cares about art, and, given that fact, how amazing it is that all these people who actually care about art are going to be in the same place at the same time this weekend. Around the same time, they were interviewing Johnny Mathis on NPR, celebrating his 50 years in show business. As they played “Chances Are”, my eyes welled up, and I was overcome with emotion that I was heading to Art Basel. I don’t have a VIP pass (at least not this year), and I am only showing in a Wynwood Gallery, not in the fair (for now), but I am making art, and taking it somewhere where people will look at it, something I never could have dreamed of back when I had a Kool-Aid moustache.

When the Johnny Mathis session was over, I wanted to prolong the feeling, so I felt around in the back seat for my box of tapes, and pulled out The Best of the Carpenters.


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