Sunday, February 20, 2011

Up on the Roof


You know how it goes… you meet a sassy Brit, make a few Catherine Tate* references and all of a sudden you’re on the roof of an art gallery making up one fifth of a United Colors of Benetton ad.  Oh those sassy Brits, always getting me into trouble.

That’s right, folks, it’s time for another one of our (mostly) monthly installments of “Gallery Row” openings, brought to you of course by Catherine and the John Cleary Gallery. I was unable to make the last one, but luckily they held showing over for one more month.

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“Untitles (42- December 2006)” from Renate Aller’s One View, Ten Years


In addition to the main exhibit there are always a rotation of other pieces from the Cleary collection.  I hadn’t seen this one during any of my previous visits and couldn’t look at it without thinking of one night at Blue Lake when my friend Mason and I went out to the beach and took a much needed respite from all those campers.

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Where’s the soccer ball!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!


In addition to geeking out over photography at the Cleary, I also love these evenings because there is such a breadth of styles and genres spread out over the various galleries.  My other favorites of the night came from Thom Andriola’s New Gallery.  Their current exhibition of Russian artist Valentin Popov’s work actually fit in perfectly with the sea-scapes next door.

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“Looking into…” (2009)


Much like the Cleary, they also had a variety of other pieces not representing the main exhibitionist.  Or is it exhibitioner?  Exhibiter? Painter… we’ll just say painter.

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Margaret Munz-Losch’s “Black Cat” (2009)


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Gordon Terry’s “Depleted Aristocrats, marginal Poets, Unhealthy Socialites and other Deviants” (2003)


Upon being asked by the girl (wo)manning the wine I had to comment: “you must hear this all the time, but your accent is absolutely intoxicating!” And thus Betsy and I were instant friends.  We chatted throughout the evening (while she wasn’t answering questions about the artwork) and I even subbed in a bit:

“Ugh, darling, I’ve been at it all night and haven’t even had the chance to sneak away to the lou.”

“Sheesh, lemme take over for you!”

So… I did a little impromptu bartending (the options were red, white, or water; it’s not like I was whipping up Pisco sour’s or anything) and fielded some questions about the artist, knowing about 30% of the answers and making up the ones I didn’t. Betsy even gave me some of the tips at the end of the evening with one stipulation: you can use this to buy me a drink later.  SOLD!

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Left: Popov’s portrait of Thom.  Center: Betsy Betsy  Right: Thom


After closing, two other art-goers invited us to the roof of a nearby gallery which was of course answered with an emphatic “YESSSS” by Betsy and me.  We were joined by her two Italian friends (their names escape me…let’s just call them Roberto and Francesco, shall we?), bringing together the Benetton add I mentioned earlier.  Also on the roof was another patron (I say “patron” because she probably actually has the money to buy the pieces on display) who was decked out in a black top hat, veil and a ruby red jacket, the culmination of which I can only describe as Alexander McQueen meets the Ringling Brothers.  Yet another reason why I love the arts… the crazies are always out!

I had the chance to follow through with my drink promise when we all headed out to Zimm’s Martini Bar. Two more of Betsy’s friends, this time a bevy of Mexican beauties, Laura and Paulina, met us there effectively rounding out our mock U.N. assembly for the evening. A lovely evening was had by all and it’s always a plus when I can add new names to the short list of friends I have in the city.

As always, I’ll put my final caveat here… GO SUPPORT YOUR LOCAL ARTISTS!!! (Hell, support foreign artists—just support!)  Much like opera, it is something that can only really be experienced in person, so just get out and DO IT!

Artist: Carole King/ Album: The Essential Carole King

Don’t know who Catherine Tate is?  SHAME ON YOU!!  Besides being my favorite companion on Dr. Who, she is also one of Britain’s best sketch comedians.  There was a point when I was in Michigan and all I could talk about was the most recent skit I had seen on The Catherine Tate Show. In honor of Matt and Joanie, Matt and Mallory, and basically anyone who has ever had a child, here are two clips from her show that I love:


“Do you remember that baby I had six months ago?…”

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