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WHO WE LIVE WITH
This is a photograph by an artist called Dan Tom, who I've been wanting to purchase a piece of for a long time. I don't know that there's a real story behind the piece, but it reminds me of California, which is the happiest place on earth I've ever been, so I keep it near my bed for good energy.
I was given the Gordon Meinhard (a southern Vermont artist) collage/painting in the parking lot of what was then Onion River Food Coop in Burlington. Gordon is a friend of my mother's as well as fellow artist. They were both members of the Windham Art Gallery in Brattleboro, Vt., when I was growing up. I bumped into Gordon randomly years later in the parking lot, and noticed the stack of paintings in the back of his car. He said he was throwing them out, to my horror. I asked if I could have one and he kindly agreed. Artists have their own reasons for throwing work away; I was just so lucky to be there in that parking lot. I love Gordon's work and feel so lucky to live with this piece.
Gordon's mark making first caught my eye. Over time, I've studied the buildings and have felt a kinship with the idea that he was painting a little scene, a little city.
This drawing is framed in my bedroom, and it is the front side of a flyer for a modern dance performance my grandmother danced in in Chicago in the 70s with her friend Ed, who is the one pictured as an octopus playing the piano.
This has been in my room since I was born (I am four years olds), and I like that it looks like an octopus, and I expect later I will probably like that it is old and reminds me that my grandma used to be young.
When I first visited Northern Daughters Gallery, Pamela Smith's work was on show. Although I loved all of Pamela's work, I immediately gravitated towards this piece and couldn't stop making eye contact with her. I was on my way to Montreal and while traveling I couldn't stop thinking about the painting. I eventually asked Justine and Sophie if the painting was still available, and to my disappointment, I was told that it had been bought earlier that very morning. 'Got to be quicker to the draw,' I thought to myself. I felt surprisingly sad and took a photo of the 'Madonna's Make You Brave' exhibit announcement which featured the painting. I kept the photo as the wallpaper on my phone, which felt like a silly thing to do. When I needed to feel brave I would look at the photo. Cut to months and months (and months) later, my mother came to visit me in NYC and handed me a big package. I knew it was a frame from the shape beneath the brown paper, but I was so surprised, not to mention ecstatic, when I unwrapped Pamela's painting! Justine and Sophie and my mom had been in cahoots the whole time!
I was first drawn to her large face, rosy cheeks and small features first caught my eye. Even with her adornments, there is something simple and understated about her. She also seems to be experienced, knowing, resilient - perhaps as familiar with suffering as she is with joy. The tiger's expression is watchful and fierce, but also inquisitive. Over time, I have noticed how sturdy and graceful the tree is, heavy with blossoms. One of her feet rests on top of the tiger's foot - like a little girl dancing on a parent's foot along for the ride, or is she slowing the tiger from pouncing? Everyone who comes to my apartment not only admires the painting but asks if it is a portrait of me. I say yes!
Most of the painting in our home have an affiliation to a person, place or thing. Overtime each one reminds me of those people, places and things which is a nice walk down memory lane. Each one is special in its own way. The painting by Anne Cady was one my husband and I commissioned to have done for our living room. So much fun working with a professional artist to help with bringing our ideas to completion.
This Leon Vermeulen (a South African painter) painting is one I bought in South Africa; I lived in the Western Cape area for close to six years. Leon's piece was the first piece of art I ever bought. I purchased it from a dear friend David Bellamy who is an artist himself, as well as textile designer, and former owner of the Art Hotel in South Africa where I did a short residency. It was during that time that I bought the painting. I love birds, and I love Leon's painting style. When I look at the painting, I think of all those things, and also think of my friend David, as well as that wonderful week at the Art Hotel.
Living with this work, I've just grown attached to the raw, slightly awkward style of his bird studies. I have also noticed that his work has been the impetus for my expanding collection of "bird things."