Monday, May 8, 2017

Art is Like Playing Monopoly

As some of you remember I was represented by the Phyllis Kind Gallery for many years, this was a good time in my life. The Oscars just fell into tour laps and HBO wanted to connect me to a gallery, that is how Phyllis I crossed path. From the moment we met, she referred to my work as my children.
Really, each art piece is a child, the seed is the idea and they bloom into their own identity as we work on them. Phyllis had the philosophy of finding the right buyer for each piece. I was off to a good run; my first solo show was a huge success. Then 9/11 occurred and understandable other things took precedence to art. I always knew art is more of luxury in life, face it I never did art for the money that is more of a bonus. Over the next few years I had two more solo shows at the Kind Gallery.

Then in 2006, I got a call no Artist would ever what to receive. Time to come pick up your work because the gallery is moving to a smaller place. To me this is mix emotions since my work is going into storage, but at least I have the opportunity to get my kids back. Whoever has taken an Art history class, has heard many stories about galleries closing and the Artist can’t find their work. Interesting enough when Dena and I went to pick up the kids, Phyllis kept a hand full of my work.

To be honest, I was frustrated that they kept the prints that I worked on in the summer of 2002. That summer I basically took over the print shop at Towson University and hired Dawn, Jessica and Brian to run edition for me, thanks to Tonia Mathews. All of women/men power and supplies were out of pocket, I think you would see why I would be worried about what happened to the editions.

For the next dozen years, I had no idea of what happen to Phyllis, or my work. Even the producers of King Gimp could not get through to the gallery. Two weeks ago, an email popped up in my inbox from Phyllis’ daughter, saying the gallery is finally closed and would I like to come get the rest of my work? Right away; I’m reply yes and I am thinking self, the flipping prints! I wanted to ask about how Phyllis is doing in person.

Last Saturday Dena, Daisy and I packed into our van and set out for NYC. When Dena and Rachel put the first load into the van, I did tear up. This is not only the end of a chapter in my life, but an end of an era in the Art world. As they finished loading the work, Rachel says it must feel good getting your children back. I know that is something her Mom would say, I hope she is having a relaxing retirement living on the West coast. Before we headed back home, I asked Rachel to please kiss her mom for me.

As we were heading home, I asked Dena; honey do you know what we have here? This was Phyllis’ private collection of my work. You know she handpicked what she wanted to keep, because she knew it’s value. Rachel said as she was moving my work to lobby, people ask if it was for sell. The thing about art, the Artist know it’s value, people like Phyllis tell you it’s value but there is no proof unless people see the dollars flowing.

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