The opening was unreal. Period. Dave and Teresa and I don't really know how it happened. Actually, we do. We put a whole bunch of magical ideas together into a proposal, handed it to our gallery, and somehow on opening night there was a costume party, a live opera singer on classical guitar, champagne, hors-d'oeuvres, and hundreds of visitors. Dave and I talked until we were hoarse, slugged back some champagne, and talked some more, this time less hoarse and more slurred.
But back up. Here are some pictures of the gallery display that Teresa took before the opening:
Pretty swell. The thing I really like about Steve Brennen's West Palace location is that it feels like the inside of someone's house, so one can imagine that collectors get a better idea for how a painting will fit into their own house, than if they saw the same painting in one of those conventional commercial spaces that some galleries have. And there are something like seven fireplaces throughout, so everyone gets to be a special butterfly and have their work above the mantel.
So wait, what was the bit in the invitation about everyone being in costume? Well, to help people identify us amidst the swarming, roiling masses of art lovers, we thought it would be a good idea to dress to match our paintings. Teresa was decked out in her Rococo inspired gear as per usual, and I dressed to match the painting of my sister, "The Huntsman's Bride." I wore a wedding gown, stole, and had a skull in my hair. In Dave's case, we decided he should just focus on looking presentable. Nobody wanted him in drag and face paint as one of his ruffed ladies, anyways.
Getting all dressed up in wedding gear was kind of like recreating our special day. Dave got to be a princess for a day--again. We essentially got to retake our wedding photos, except now we're so much better looking, with nicer clothes and better haircuts.
Dave has a rat skull ascot pin he made himself with, well, a rat skull and a pin and piece of bubblegum. I'm wearing a mink skull in her hair (can't see it, unfortunately), so it was kind of like prom with matching corsage and buttonhole.
And yes, there were quite a few attendees in costume, thank goodness. The gallery director, Martha Goetz, master of accessorizing, is wearing a skunk and a chicken. You see, some people see cute animals and want to pet them, and other people want to put them on their heads. It's really a matter of preference and luckily there are enough bantam hens to go around.
|Teresa with "The Lamentation"|
|The stunning AnnaMaria Cardinalli loaned us her haunting vocals for the night.|
|Martha channeled some Giuseppe Arcimboldo in her magnificent vegetable lady.|
|And presumably in honor of Dave's vanitas paintings, Martha made this lovely chocolate skull. And about another hundred mini skulls with walnut brains.|
|Unfortunately there was nothing we could do about the random homeless man who came in for the free booze.|
|When the opening was over and it was time to get after party drinks, we were a little worried about finding a place where we wouldn't be too out of place. Then we walked into this lounge. Red brocade wall fabric? Check.|
Six paintings sold by the end of opening night, and more sales have been trickling in ever since.
Dave and I need to extend our most sincere and heartfelt thanks to everyone who made this show possible:
Steve, thank you for reading the proposal and being, I don't know, at loose ends enough to let us have a show? Seriously, thank you for seeing the potential, for giving us the most beautiful space in which to host our show, and for the wonderful hospitality.
Martha, thank you for...gosh, where to begin? Calling up every single magazine editor? Packaging and marketing our product? Fabricating vegetable women and pouring chocolate skulls? Hanging all 28 paintings so beautifully? Doing all of the above with a flawless chignon bun and three feet of pearls around your neck?
Parents, thank you for trekking all the way to Santa Fe with us just to watch us be entirely self-absorbed for the entire time, and not giving us crap for it. Thank you for supporting us through this as only parents can (because who else puts up with entirely one-sided conversations about how great we are?). Thank you for coming to the opening to see what exactly it is that we do when we're not clad in paint smeared pajamas (we're talking about 0.0002% of our time).
Models--Paul, Emily, Allie, Fred, Brian, Jill, and ESPECIALLY Tara, who appeared in four paintings--thank you for letting us exploit your natural good looks for our personal gain.
Friends, thank you for making the trip to see our show. Most of you came from far away and it was delightful to have familiar faces in the crowd.
Attendees, thank you all for bringing your energy, your love of art, and your appreciation of free booze and live music. You made our night a blast.
And thank you Martha, Teresa, and Susan for letting me steal your photos.