Puffed up Peregrine

Tuesday, February 19, 2019

Mod affair

I am back from a near week in Palm Springs. I exhibited at what is probably the best Modernism show in America, the Winter Palm Springs Modernism.

Modernism Week in the desert brings people in from all over the country. The way it was raining last Thursday I was surprised any one would make it, braving traffic jams, road closures and extreme weather. But they did. Place was packed, even with near five inches of rain.

Also, this year featured tours of iconic mid century modern homes this year that never get open to the public. Modernism Week is a big deal and functions and lectures sell out quick.

Luckily I got most of my merchandise in to my show on a dry Wednesday, Thursday morning the sky broke open and floodwater was cresting over the sidewalks, making crossing the road a portage expedition.

The show was pretty good for me, could have been much worse as I said. Sold a few things. Next door was the very interesting Palm Springs Art Fair. Someone over there had a great Bay Area figurative collection including large works by Hassel Smith. Vincent Vallarino had a very nice John McLaughlin canvas.  Some dealers from years passed were notable in their absence, Novak, Victoria among others.

Both shows were excellent for people watching. Wish that I had had more time to take pictures but I really kept it to a minimum this week. Trying to pay the bills.

Some of the work wasn't exactly my bag but there is room for all points of view on god's green earth and I have to assume that no children or small animals were hurt in its creation.

Not a lot to say, really. After a couple decades of doing these Modernism shows it is both satisfying and remarkable to have old friends and clients approach me and tell me how much they love various items that they have bought from me over the years.

I shed tears this year with a late friend's sister who I hadn't seen in ages, her brother's passing still hurts us both deeply, even with several years to process. Everything came bubbling up.

Anyway, on a happier note, people really pull out the duds. Place was awash in sartorial splendor, of a flavor that many would be frankly petrified to wear in other haunts. If not arrested.

Certain outfits just send me running for the Nikon.

Caught up with a few cronies, Gordon McLelland walked through with artist buddy Brad Salamon, Mark and Jan Hilbert, George Stern and his wife Irene. Bob Kaplan came by as did Dan May, Marty Newman and Bob Zinner.
Had some nice meals with friends, a streak of five or six meals in a row at one Rick's or another, gay Chinese at the aptly named Wangs, tongue and corned beef at Shermans.

Great mole and carnitas at El Mirasol with our dear friends Frank and Joy.

I got into an interesting conversation with a few people at one point. It was my contention that gay people have done more to revitalize urban neighborhoods than anybody else in America.

I have seen it in many places, Hillcrest, Long Beach, Greenwich Village and Palm Springs to name but a few. Gay people move in and the place goes to heaven. Property values go up, things get less scroungey.

And I think there is a similarity with what Jews were able to do in the province of movies and television.

They moved into occupations that were thought of as low class like stage and theater at the turn of the nineteenth century, occupations thought beneath the dignity of the majority and developed them and made them lucrative in their later incarnations. Made them their own when no one else cared.

Both groups felt alienated and divorced from mainstream society so they found certain islands like Provincetown, Palm Springs and Hollywood and created a new lexicon, fresh aesthetics and media delivery systems from scratch, unencumbered by the prevailing winds and design motifs. Perhaps the alienation and perceived persecution brings the blessing of a certain liberation from conventional morés.

This particular show ended with a loud clunk for me, the be backs didn't come back, no sales on the last day, t'was a very lonely Monday.

Maybe I will get a call one day soon from someone who simply can't sleep with the thought of the painting they passed up? Here's hoping anyway.

I had nice stuff, including a rare triptych from the late Susan Bright Lautmann Hertel, a remarkable artist who worked with Millard Sheets. Booth looked good.

Met a one time blog reader who said she will still occasionally venture in to listen to the music but honestly finds the commentary too dour and depressing for her taste.

Truth is, life has been tougher than shit this year and I have never been one to sugarcoat my feelings and probably am not emotionally equipped to change my m.o. at this point. But I will try.

Everything is fucking wonderful.

How is that?

Sunday night Steve and I drove out to the place past the tram where the 111 was closed due to storm damage. This installation was set up near there and was blowing smoke. Have no idea as to the particulars but it was raining and we stopped. I thought that the guy with the umbrella made it sort of interesting.

I look forward to processing this series. Please click on them and see them full size.

Traffic on the 10 was really backed up after my two hour pack out. I needed to gas up and lose some personal fluids. I stopped at Morongo, signed up for a rewards card and had the buffet, which was decent.

Found a fifteen dollar blackjack table and could do little wrong for an hour. Got up and skeedaddled home, completely exhausted and a little bit richer. Almost fell asleep at the wheel two or three times.

Haven't even unpacked the van this morning, pretty drained. But it was, all in all, a good experience in Palm Springs, if you have never been they do it twice a year, although the February show is by far the best. Check it out.


Anonymous said...

EIFW, and the clouds parted and the sun shown through ! Restrung my Martin last night-something I'd been wanting to do since before I moved. Strings are worthless tho'-don't sound at all like Clarence White. Might be the pick...

Ever watch the PBS series, sponsored by Martin, Guitar something...McGuinn has 2 part show-interviews, playing...pretty cool;also came across Gene Clark interview by Denver radio station that was very good


Anonymous said...

I have to tell you my favorite quote in your blog was

"Some of the work wasn't exactly my bag but there is room for all points of view on god's green earth and I have to assume that no children or small animals were hurt in its creation.”

I subscribe to that philosophy and I criticize Santa Feans regular use of the term “tourist art”. I believe that all art is “good" by its very nature and new collectors have to start somewhere. I am always intrigued by the answers I get when I ask serious collectors if they can remember the very first picture they bought even if it was a poster


Anonymous said...

Well, as I told you when I met you on Main, I come for the dour. Keep going - DO