August 13, 2006

Something About an Opening

After over a month of struggle, the day of Alberto's opening came. All along the way, he was on the edge and all along the way, he risked and won at each juncture.

Here are a few images from the opening. After all the words I have crafted along the way, I hope you will pardon a bit of textual minimalism.


That's the mayor of Tossa, reading the text I prepared for Alberto, a copy on acetate that he affixed to the window that incidentally affords a view of my house.



One of my neighbors came, the first time they have been to this museum... and I wonder if it is the first time for them in any museum, but that's hard for me to believe. A nice famly, they come to Tossa for the summer every year, their family life spilling out into the street as if it is a living room.

The painting: "Foo Dog", painted in 1998. To the right, a screenshot of the recent blogpost containing the text I wrote for the show.

And then the moment of the speech arrived. Alberto was melting with anxiety. My advice: think of protocol and thank everyone from the mayor on down to the artists in the show.


He did pretty well with the speech. The mayor was nice to reinforce and endorse the pirate flag, saying that pirates used to sail off the coast, prompting the construction of the fortifications and that now it is the upstart energy of young artists who are the pirates entering the fortifications of culture embodied by the museum.

One sign of pirate activity in the exhibition is a triptych painted by Rafa de la Rica. Que barbaro como un bucaneer, tio. A curiously arresting detail is here (not safe for work, and not recommended for minors, although our former president Clinton did more damage than this already).

Alberto asked me what I thought about it, and I hemmed and hawed a bit, recognising the crudity and yet not wanting to shut it down, acknowledging his need to simultaneously represent the artist's commitment to treating the precision realist painting within the theme of vanititas in a contemporary way and to also work some edge into the show, an effort made complicated or difficult by our hyper mediated and, let's say, "sophisticated" age. Not an easy call. A full treatment of the issue will consume a day or more of writing, so pardon me if i let it go for now.

Some people were offended, many were not.

Finally, it seems good to have it in the show, despite the difficulties. At the very least, one argument is that after ascending several floors of conventional landscapes and portraits and still lifes; after seeing so many versions of supple paint handling from studio and plein aire work; after all that, there is a show in the attic that seems young and odd and scattered... and along the way, there is this one problematic piece that hits you like a slap in the face so to speak. And hopefully, all of the paintings on the way down would look al little different.

Maybe people would see them twice and therefore more deeply?

Posted by Dennis at August 13, 2006 10:27 AM

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