The show in Santa Barbara was pretty awful for most of us, yours truly included.
It was extremely hot and a transformer exploded outside the hall on set up so we set up the show in the dark. I drove to three hardware stores and there wasn't an electric fan to be purchased in the whole town. Total schvitz.
The mudslides closed down the 5, so the truck traffic was routed to the 101 and it was jammed in both directions. Two hours to get back to the hotel in Carpenteria. Didn't help the show traffic.
It seemed that the customers that did manage to show up were out for a weekend stroll, didn't see a lot of buyers anywhere and art definitely wasn't the bag of the rare customer with a pulse. You aren't going to get the full post mortem, that can wait. I will say that I had a couple sleepless nights and woke up throwing up, completely stressed out wondering how to make the whole thing work.
Of course, my story is a familiar one, people have been losing their asses and their property for the last seven or eight years and the last thing anybody needs is for a guy who has received as many free credits and blessings as I have to engage in another one of his countless bitch sessions.
Having said that, I think many of my fellow dealers will not be returning to the venue. This is systemic, antique shows the country over are vaporizing due to lack of interest, as are shops and galleries. I heard a dealer discussing the nature of the chasm; we thought that the younger generation would be interested in modern and abstracts but we finally figured out that they aren't interested in anything. And of course, everybody is broke to boot.
A little late for a personal reinvention, will see how long I can hold on and if nothing else faithful readers who are interested in that sort of thing will be treated to a great public immolation. Not sure how much more I can take.
There were high points. Met George, a legendary flea market picker and sage who once danced with Anna Halprin and led religious rituals at the Waldorf school. Actor, modern holy man.
George doesn't drive and I ferried him back and forth from the hotel. Very nice and interesting guy.
We went to Superica one evening and had an enjoyable meal. It is fashionable to hate the place but I still love it.
Denis and I spoke. He is a little sick of my Israel rhetoric and would rather hear about food. Noted.
Threw the oracle a few times during my nocturnal crisis. The sages say I am fucked, the bed is splitting, shot my wad, peril on all sides. Bastards, I have them right where I want them. Don't they know that I thrive on devastation, that this is the time in the movie when the extra gear kicks in? What's the current betting line on my survival anyway? Overrated, in any case... survival.
I withdrew this year for a variety of reasons that most of you are aware of. There is a price to be paid for disengagement and always the danger of the wheels coming off the tracks. Beats the hell out of trying to sneak through Hungary anyway.
Couple things caught my eye and ear.
Scientist under attack after he kills bird that took decades to find.
Uzbek farmers told to glue cotton back on bushes ahead of state trip.
Leader of doomsday group adjusts prediction to soon.
Steve needed to borrow my car in Palm Springs to get his phone from the hotel. He couldn't believe how many keys I had on my ring, asked me if I was a janitor. I started going through them the other day, realized that I had no idea what at least half of them unlocked at this point. Jettisoned a bunch. Traveling a lot lighter now.
A pretty successful dealer came through the booth in Santa Barbara and was complaining about business. Said when things got bad he liked to take vacations. Just came back from China and now on his way to Cabo to go scuba diving. I believe that he is on a slightly different level of bad than I am traveling right now.
JB sent a really nice picture from his home in Alaska.
Thank you for the several nice notes I received on the agapanthus photograph. I am glad that it resonated with you so.