Monday, June 1, 2009

A Sculpture Grows in Detroit

Here’s a clear case of beauty or art being in the eyes of the beholder. If my dad saw this “sculpture,” he’d shake his head and say “sista, now Blue Boy (by Gainsborough) that’s a work of art (and this belongs in the garbage).” Clearly, I didn’t get my taste (or lack there of) from him. This is the sort of thing our expert eyes are trained on in the motorcity. We see an at least 40-year-old tree stump that has grown through an old Montgomery Ward bike left amongst the burned out remains of a house and we say, “now that’s a work of art.” Mount it to a metal base, boom it’s sculpture and front and center in my booth at the Michigan Modernism show. Sure enough it’s a show stopper, and everyone wants to marvel and bring others around to see the miracle of the tree grown through the stump. (So much so that once it sold, I had to get it out because they weren’t looking at anything else.) Keen folk art dealers and long-time buyers of mine scoop it up for a very serious show in New York where discerning buyers await. Meanwhile, there’s a little fuss don’t you know cause that old wood sitting there all those years got a little punky and we had to make it solid-like. But it wasn’t til it got nice and warm some weeks later in my buddy bob’s van that the gestation of a gazillion bugs took place. All I could say was thank God it wasn’t in a fancy collector’s house. Confined in Bob’s van, all he had to do was scream, then get a bug bomb in the van and it’s good to go!. Once in New York, clearly it took on greater importance and it’s virtues enhanced. They were fighting over it I’ll have you know and who knows what private deal has again been made in the name of art. So go on dad, trash Detroit and it’s relics all you want, but they are paying some serious attention to our detritus in Gotham City!

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