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.
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.
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?
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.