Friday, April 8, 2011

Death, Taxes, Life!

It's always darkest before tax day. I have to remind myself of that every year. The continuous loop plays on of funding gaps, gray days and crummy weather. The pickings are slim. While the call from American Pickers sparked some provocative discourse, it isn't paying my bills and filing an extension means no refund. A bright spot is that all my calling around for the show unearthed some interesting leads (and entertainment), it's always hunting season, especially when you're lean. Opening the store on Saturdays is getting to be a pretty good gig. And the people showing up on the weekdays are finding the door open now that David King's back from LA and working in the studio. It's a pleasant surprise and we're all grateful.

I forgot what a difference it makes to have someone else in the studio, talking about art and making it with salvage. Our conversation circulates to familiar places, Detroit, the people we know and what we're going to do next (get coffee, surf the internet, have a show…). Then we hear voices downstairs, people are drawn to a faint thump, gee there is a pulse. There's also the high pitch squeal of the chop saw again, the smell of saw dust and wet paint, the energy of creation.

We are talking about having a show upstairs, really. David painted the walls, and framed panels of scrapped lumber. I've looked at lumber lying all over Detroit, I was stunned how beautiful he made it look when he framed sections of it. Put the mask over your face and breathe normally. That display I've been wanting to do of washed up sports balls and crushed metal now has context. He talks about the culture of LA and sunshine, I respond with New York and snowstorms. He paints over old paintings and cuts them apart, I am spray painting sidewalks, my car, a wood panel, a mirror, with the Beautiful Detroit stencil. We restart our dialogue from last fall and salvage whatever is lying around in the ugly days leading up to spring.

The gray walls of the upstair's front room has completely faded beneath a wash of fresh paint, the vacant spaces starts to fill in. It actually looks like something is coming to life around here.

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