Mexican food was great and plentiful,
but there wasn't
an unsugared drink in the house,
and this diabetic can't do sugar or alcohol, so it was drear
in the wet department from the start. But as social it was nice,
and I saw folks I hadn't in years.
I'd donated a ormanent (See Artist's
Notes.). And for a radical change, I felt good about the
donation. Most times artists get conned into donating
stuff to benefit auctions, they lose every which way.
Buyers buy cheap and get full tax break,
while artists legally may only expense materials. Work is devalued, and established prices are trashed. We think
we're doing it to make a name, then ours gets misspelled or lost,
and we rarely discover who got our work. Usually donating art is a rip.
EASL auctions are an important and
exceptional exception to this depressing rule.
But The MAC offered free, one-year memberships,
and I still feel kinda okay about Dallas' more original Contemporary
art center -- after despising them for years for abandoning their
founding principle of showing deserving Dallas artists while
Time Art Guys from Out of Town.
At least they give more than one annual
opportunity to show members' work (unlike D-Art) and lately,
the company in those shows has been superior (unlike D-Art).
My piece sold early
-- to a nice MAC person, who expressed delight at snagging it
early, although she left it up awhile, so it didn't look like
she'd grabbed it pre public. She obviously appreciated it. I
even got a chance to photo it, strung up on one of the long,
suspended pipes that looked nothing like Christmas trees.
Still - in Neiman's downtown windows
Blue Yule had some of the makings of a great party. But I was weak from a nasty cough
all week, and a little tentative anyway. We didn't mind so much
the relative darkness that made scoping out the 'art'
a challenge, but we were not ready for the screaming PA and obnoxious
auctioning in the already noisy room.
I found myself talking
back to the ill informed auctioneer whose repeated bleating that
a small, limp painting by Pam
Nelson -- the
auctioneer insisted they were starting with the biggest name
artists first -- had to be worth five thousand dollars. "No
thing has intrinsic monetary value," I flatly argued, my
curmudgeonly voice luckily lost in the din.
"Any piece of art, or anything
else, is worth exactly what you can get for it. It's that simple," I tilted
the stars. The bidding began at a hundred bucks, which seemed
a bit low. But rather than extol the work's individual aesthetic
or historical place in the artist's career arc; or the fact that
Ms. Nelson's work is in the collection of the President; or that
she's a personal friend of the First Lady; or that her work was
marvelously witty and fun and folky at the peak of her local
popularity back in the 80s...
Time Flies in Neiman's window
Or that it's since turned
deadly serious and significantly less sellable.
No facts of historical or aesthetic or folkloric value. Just
the shrill hammering that it was worth five thousand dollars,
because it was painted by a famous painter, whom we must all
love and appreciate, because, because...
Well, we never did find
out because why, because at that opportune moment, we made our
hurried mid-screech exit.
Pamela Nelson painting realized $500,
It was calmer outside.
Slightly chilled. Gentler.
We drove into the night,
thrills in a quieter key.
The sunroof was back, and I wanted to look up at lights or towers
or something in the cool night sky. We got enmeshed in a sports
jam near the Penis Arenas, then veered off into downtown lights
and quiet darkness.
Where we stumbled across a marvelous series of windows celebrating
Time, as in Neiman Marcus's 95th
year of it. Each window portrayed a different aspect of that
elusive dimension, and we were hooked early, and eventfully had
to get out and walk around, soaking up the unexpected visual
being an imperfect night,
the wonder petered out round the corner and down Main Street,
as we further investigated an entrancing, collaged window treatment
version of too many artists' studios, full of easels, paint and
95 artists had, the windows
spelled out, created 95 works of art (their description) for
auction (uh-oh) to benefit Children's Medical Center and the
Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation. The windows were wowers,
but when we looked closer, through them at the 'art' inside,
we were sadly disappointed with bad copies, badder originals and only maybe one partially
decent piece in sight.