Monday, January 24, 2011

New York New Year

Pier Show Jan. 22-23 Photographer Peter Peck

Now that the word is out about Asian parents, I'm gonna blame mine for this crazy work ethic I have. Nobody should be speaking to me if they had the unfortunate occasion to put this last Pier Show together with me. I shouldn't speak to me and yet I keep speaking. Pass the nails! The show most go on...and on.. Martyr Marisa's very tired body, which just packed in that show, will dig deep to continue the long drag of her cross and assorted clanging van of junk, to set up next weekend for the Garage Flea Market. It's unheated and yesterday it was 2 degrees, could we collectively pray for say, 30 something come Saturday? I have found my people and are they as crazy as I to schlep their stuff, so that we may shop in winter conditions? It's New York! Listen, it makes a great story and if I got to set up with Adam and Andrea Forgash every weekend, there's no condition I couldn't endure. Please, I've been squatting on their couch since we met. The stuff here and at these shows is fantastic. Each booth it's own special box of jewels. A full size harness-makers framework of a horse? Giant wooden foundry forms that look like legos stacked 20 feet high? An explosion of creative thinking and many backs shoulder these productions. I need an energy drink and more time to see every show and what amounts to mini galleries of the very best stuff ever conceived and made.

Enough already, it's time to party and you're gonna need some energy for this one. It's Saturday night after opening day, Adam is celebrating Andrea's birthday with a party to end all parties. Don't tell his Jewish parents, but the man's a Roman. Marlow&Sons is the site, some ultra hip Brooklyn restaurant serving up unreal food. The party is out the back door, past the milk crates and, are you ready?… in an Airstream trailer. They gutted it and inside it feels like a submarine with walls sheathed in formed plywood and simple tile. A single small wood-burning stove and low lighting make it a cozy cave. An upholstered banquette on one side, folding chairs on the other, and tables at each end with one long one down its length, that's it. Adam packs it with fascinating crazy people who are curators and writers, artists, and antiques dealers, photographers and chefs, from 25 to retired. Most importantly, half of them are hilariously funny and it's raucous. We eat like the empire is falling tomorrow. It's all we can do to throw the money at Paul, we'll worry about Peter after we lick the last of that chocolate tart with sea salt (or was that crack?). Meanwhile the date who knew no one sat quietly at the end of the table until the plates got cleared, then became dj with the car radio/ipod. We're beyond tired but Ken is singing Neil Diamond and he's goin on with back up singers and dancers. Only Adam was sitting. Would you get up if women were dancing all around you? He'll be back selling antiques and lugging heavy boxes, as will a few of us on the morrow, but for this night Adam's set just the tone I want to hear for this new year. It's always hard work, but when Saturday night comes, let loose!

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Going Insane, Taking You With Me

These are the before pictures of two items I love so much that I want to throw them from the tallest building I can find. You know it would be so much easier to just sell regular antiques. I just can't do that. I gotta buy weird posts (you have no idea what these are for) and this metal thing the salvage yard referred to as "big sexy" (really? nevermind) "I like the form, I'll think of something...." she's off and there's no getting her back now. I HAVE A VISION. I am torturing my crew. "Big sexy" requires wiring 48 sockets, I get stuck with this tedius job, I can hardly wait. Atleast I can do this in my heated home. It was some part of a theater prop, I never did understand the guy's explanation of why it was "big sexy." New Yorkers, they are so theatrical. The second project with the 12 posts now involves scrapping the first design idea, which is half-built, and starting a new one more complicated idea… with a week to go. They knew when I said we would just skip the post project for this show, that I was lying. In fact they burst out laughing today when I said verbatim what they thought I would say, "I have to take those posts, but I think we have to make a whole new…." At least they are laughing, we are all accustomed to the last week, work-around-the-clock program. I really thought I could leave it, but these posts are so wicked! They have an obscure ancient purpose. I just can't tell you what they were for, I want you to guess. It's so weirdly practical in a form-follows-function kind-of-way. Each one of them has different shaped teeth or knobs and the cylinders are all different too but the same length (26" long). They've been sitting around since November. I swear I don't have one good idea until I'm in a pressure cooker. Throw in there some additional stress with blizzards here and in New York, truck issues, health problems and budget constraints and it's the perfect storm for productivity. Why today I finally got around to deciding what to do with those lab stands I bought….two months ago…Have I figured out the rest of what I'm taking? No, I decided to spend 3 days stripping paint off some scrap metal...I HAVE A VISION...welcome to my nightmare.

Monday, January 10, 2011

It's a New Year, Ready?

Have a good new year. I tried…look I got no pithy resolution. And now I've spent a goodly amount of time trying all week to write something and not getting my 4th quarter accounting done. The more things change, the more they stay the same right? I can't think straight when it's dark and I'm freezing cold. I hate accounting. Do we have to be all perky and full of resolve? About all I can muster this frigid Sunday morning is the flea market. I have good friends there and there's interesting stuff. Plus it's warm and I have the excuse that it's my job, I'll account for it later.

What a good morning, the sun is shining for once. My pal Mark and one of my favorite dealers had three things for me. Here's a guy I want to support, it's a banner morning. I bought this beautiful pony-sized iron casting of a horse's head that should be an easy sale (famous last words). My clientele will have no trouble seeing it on a beautiful base in the drawing room or in the garden. Me? I can't wait to put it in my bed and simulate blood and the Godfather scene, take photos and send it to you.

I'm gonna go out on a limb here and say, I think you'll laugh, mostly. I learned from my plumber's brother…another plumber and a stand-up comic (hilarious right?), it's a fine line between funny and scary. I'll push the line towards scary since planning the joke is good therapy and I can lob it hiding behind my laptop. Moving right along, look over here! Isn't this a nice painting? It actually is, good local artist (King Caulkins) from the day (60's) when the hippies were making great art in the Cass Corridor of Detroit. The Detroit Institute of Arts has his work, he's listed and I want my clients to collect real art when they can. It's a good price and already nicely framed. I am thinking a certain someone in Detroit's Mies Van Der Rohe townhouses needs this one.

Last, but not least, there's this other painting. In a way, this is the most important thing I bought. No, it's not signed, just a nice little decorative painting that you can buy for the price of a couple beers and a burger. That's the reality for most of us these days. So here's your opportunity to eat in and feed your spirit. It's original art, a real person actually made it frame and all. I know it sounds all new agey but really, stuff people have put thought, what skill they have, using their own hands into, has a pulse. Can't get that out of a machine…I'm just saying.

Finally, something I can publish, but one more thing about Mark. He plays guitar, really well, started this band Michigan Basement. This is them playing at Goldfish Tea seven blocks from my house last night and I can take Wyatt. Live, free, music = good therapy. So, I guess that's the resolution. Do your best, trust your instincts, be a good friend, get out of your cave.