Saturday, May 26, 2012

The Winds of Santa Fe

It gets real windy here, blows all day long, blew that smoke from the nearby fire out of town, that's good, though now everything is covered in fine desert dust. Someone that I met here, real nice guy, told me that this is a transitory city, no one stays, he told me, maybe the winds blow us out of town too.
Been thinking, probably too much, about the next installment in my autobiography, it was a helluva ride, moving to NYC, just turning twenty, really no way to get home, just barely enough money to stay, who was I then? Man what a little mess I was. How did I do it?
And then moving here, to Santa Fe, after thirty years away from New Mexico, finding this place, this "artist residency", the overwhelming sense of isolation from the activities of the big city and the companionship of my dear friends whom I consider family.
Once I began to meet people here, it became imperative that I open myself up, be who I am, that seemed to be quite the hurdle, I have managed somehow though and have found a lovely circle of dear friends. Though sometimes it feels like we are all just starting out again, and if we are all just passing through, I don't know, sometimes I just want to get away.
Then for the most part, really nearly all of the time, I am feeling quite content and peaceful. That used to scare the hell out of me, contentment, means that I don't try as hard, or maybe just that I don't have to bang my head with so much frequency, especially when it will make no difference anyhow.
It feels like, yeah for sure, we gotta shake things up here in this often seemingly sleepy staid set in it's way town, and well we do try, but things are they way they are here. Saw a guy that I know, met him through the monthly Gay mixers, I was sitting in our community gallery space, he came in passing out cards for his independent TED confab. He said that hell yeah I should participate and talk about the lack of resources for artist here. It really is shocking how little this place has to offer to the artist population.
It is the way it is, isn't it? Could I say anything that would make any difference? Isn't the artist population, per capita, one of the largest in the country? Isn't Santa Fe one of the biggest art markets in the United States? Couldn't there be a funding program or something where some of the profits from the galleries are set aside to bring new art to town? Or is it just about the profit, salespeople making commission, artists showing half-baked work to sell, gallery owners who never venture out of what is salable and attractive to an uninformed buyer?
In the meantime the winds blow and I am content, surrounded by lovely good people, maybe we just all ride this out together and then say goodbye, when the time comes.

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Zaguanistas Summer ART Kick-Off

"April" 8"x8" oil on canvas
Tis the time.  Tis the season. 
Art Happenings @ 545 Canyon Road
Santa Fe, NM

Zaguanistas ART kick-off

Max Carlos Martinez, Bethany Orbison, William McLane III (Billy), Brenda Roper, Adam Eisman & Marilyn Sahs

Opening Reception Friday May 25, 2012
5-7pm/Saturday 12-4pm
Studios by appointment 

An eclectic exhibition of work by the artists of El Zaguan:  contemporary photography, landscape and language on canvas, paper, wood. . .enjoy the garden. 

Revolving exhibits throughout the summer-- most Friday evenings from 5 to 7pm.  Please stop by.

"If I Had a Boat" --watercolor on paper

Thursday, May 10, 2012

I Wish That I Had A Treehouse

Springtime, Santa Fe, evening now, clouds all day, about five drops of rain here. Haven't been writing much, obviously, well ever since Greg died that is. He was just a neighbor here in the artist compound, someone that I heard about before I had met him. The other tenants at the time would all tell me to be prepared for his welcome wagon, that he would have me over for drinks and dinner and welcome me into the community.

I didn't really speak with Greg, except a couple of times in passing, for a few months, then after that first night that we actually spoke, an artists' planning meeting, the holiday show, we hung out. I was at his place nearly every single night after that, drinks, tales, discovering that we had an affinity for each others' company, a friendship that would carry us both through some difficult times, and sadly his would be ill health, physical decline, bodily deterioration, hospitals and ultimately death. 

 I moved to Santa Fe 19months ago after thirty years in New York City. My best friend, who I had moved to the city with in 1981 died of a terrible cancer, luckily since we were roommates when he became ill, I could be there for him, talk about an education. My hours at the gallery were cut, I was an associate director at a Chelsea art gallery, my hours cut due to the economic crap, was only working two days a week, but our rent at home was controlled, cheap, I could do it and I could be there for my oldest friend in his time of suffering and finally death.
 The landlady tried to evict me as soon as she found out, I sold some paintings from my first solo in the city, hired a lawyer, tough lady, she got me another year. During that period, which I call my year of living dangerously, I needed to decide, move to another, the newest artist ghetto, live in a tiny space, or rent with four roommates, so I decided to move, to leave the city that I had loved so dearly. It was also during that time that I had a solo in Switzerland, some old friends with a gallery there, man that was fun, right during Basel. You have to bear with me, I am clearing my thoughts, because well I am kind of unsure as to what I should do next with my life.
 Back to Santa Fe. I quickly became Greg's caregiver, with what experience I had, it didn't scare me off, the withering of a loved one, the onset of the inevitable, the doubt, the anger, the denial, and above all, the love, that pure and divine thing, the emotion that kept me by his side, all except for that one night when I went with Enrique so Luis could shoot my paintings, very hi-res, was working on a print deal with some NY publisher, that has all but vanquished. I was gone for an hour, having left Greg on his sofa in front of the tv with a drink, I'll be right back, I said, when I returned an hour later, he was dead. 
How long ago was that, six, seven weeks? In the meantime I took responsibility for so much more, I mean as far as his effects are concerned, and now I find myself mourning him, with this free time, not all of the time, but it comes in waves, and when it does I see his body, mom's body, Emile's, sucker punched by death, hardcore, and it wears me down, and it makes me sad. Sometimes I wish that I had a treehouse, like the rickety one that my cousin Chris had, that ancient cottonwood tree, the slabs of wood that had been nailed in place for a generation or two, leading up into the sky, a deathtrap that I climbed fearlessly, the only thing between me and the sky, a bough of leaves.