Sunday, September 5, 2010

Art For Sale On the Pearl

I was in the Pearl to check out some of the new gallery shows. I always like to go to Blackfish and The Elizabeth Leach Gallery. It provides a fun contrast between a successful artist run cooperative with more of an emphasis on community than retail. Christopher Shotola-Hardt's paintings share the gallery with Judith Wyss' stained glass works. Both artists have made impressive gains from previous shows. The work is intimate, approachable, human, and deep. The Justine Kurland photography across the street at Elizabeth Leach is interesting with landscapes and trains and decay and dryness. The work catches the mood of a depressed country on the downside of it's glory days. I get stuck on the prices. $12,000 for a large photograph. It is a bit alienating because the price tells me that this work was created for someone other than me.
I had accidentally happen to be in the Pearl for Art on the Pearl. And, of course, I was helplessly sucked into the crowd and quickly fell in line behind a middle aged couple from the West Hills. I happened to glance deep into the sad oppressed eyes of the the husband. Eyes the same color as the golf shirt from the Tiger Woods collection that was keeping him comfy by wicking excess moisture that his body was creating as he followed his wife past the stalls. Deep in those eyes I saw a yearning for college football. He wanted to be watching college football. I could tell. But... he was instead dutifully following his wife. I dutifully followed the two of them. We stopped at a booth with photos of forest scenes which had been filtered to sepia tones. We watched the glass blower work with his glowing molten orb. We admired two wiener dogs, one of which lay on the ground refusing to move further into the art fair depths. We admired some paintings, cartoonish girls with big smiley faces. We had some donuts, listened to some bluegrass music, and glanced at our cell phones. The couple started to notice me following them and I could tell I was making them nervous. I stopped, walked past a set of florescent orange barriers blocking the cars from driving down Davis Street. I headed towards the river, away from a place where art was meeting commerce, people were shopping and dogs were sniffing people's shoes.