The Rogue Speaks:
I think I seriously aged myself with that title, because unless you are an old movie buff, you have probably never heard of the film to which I am referring. The Snake Pit, a 1948 four star film, tells the story of a woman who finds herself in an insane asylum, but doesn't know how she got there.
I felt like I was in that psychological "thriller" at the reception for The Monsters That Made Us art exhibit at the Holy Joe Studio on Friday night. The curator had asked each artist to explain in writing just what their paintings were meant to portray. I think I told you I lied my way into the show with my descriptions of my work. My friend, Mordecai, who was also in the show, wrote something not nearly as scary about his own work, and his portrayal was way better than my lies, and a lot more accurate. His actually made sense, and in a very nice way, too.
About thirty minutes into the reception, the curator began his explanation of each piece. This was supposed to be done according to what the artist had written. HAHAHAHAHAHA! NOT EVEN! If all the stuff he said was true, we would all be locked up in the state hospital. There were 125 pieces in the show and there was no way I was staying there to hear about every one. I think each artist only hung around long enough to hear what he had to say about his/her work. I didn't even do that. My Best Friend Artist and her Sweet Sister came to the reception to support me, and when we realized just where the night was going, we slipped out and Rod took us all to dinner!
I saw Mordecai at a critique on Saturday morning, and I asked him if he had stayed for the whole thing. Well, that was a silly question! He and his wife left after the curator described his work as schizophrenic. Mordecai is about as far from schizophrenic as Obama is from the RNC.
According to my Best Friend Artist, receptions should be carefully planned to keep the patrons there for as long as possible, by plying them with good food and lots of wine. If they get a little mellow, they are far more likely to buy something. They may wonder the next day, "What the hell have I done?!," but Baccus had worked his magic once again!
Thank God I brought one of my best appetizers! As soon as I put it down, guests started clustering around my end of the table. Cheese and crackers is not my idea of reception food. And only ONE bottle of wine? Well, how long do you think that lasted after I showed up??
One of the drawbacks of having a reception down town at night is that occasionally people from the street wander in to get a free snack. In this particular show, it would be hard to tell the artists from the street people, because the artists were supposed to be filled with angst and suffering over their craft, and dressed accordingly. That's why Mordecai had on that crisp seersucker shirt, and I had on a really cute outfit from Chico's. My Best Friend Artist came floating in on a sea of chiffon, just like Auntie Mame, only younger.
BFA and I are known for causing a stir whenever we show up together at Guild exhibits, but on Friday night we instinctively knew that we had better mind our manners so we could slip out quickly without any fanfare. When we all had enough of Mr. Blahblah, we gave "the look" to each other, and one by one, we slipped out. No flood lights, no barking dogs, no siren, a clean getaway!
If I ever, in the future, mention anything about an upcoming show with a bizarre name, remind me of this post. The Snake Pit was a great story, but I don't want to live it again.