Alexis, OUT, Reese, and Sam

Saturday, May 1st, 2004 | Art, Family

A-gallery-ing today… Alexis Rockman’s show at Catherine Clark really rocks. He is such a great painter. The canvases in the show are comprised of virtuoso gestures that convey so much about paint and experience. I looked at one little mutant fish in the corner of one painting for several minutes, confounded by how he could have loaded that much color in the brush and achieved such a gestural quality with so much detail and depth. I bumped into Catie’s husband, Ray, who’s having a career in New York now, from this coast, after getting the boot from Haines. He says a New York Times review of his current show is a possibility. Yay, Ray. Jeffrey Frankel is showing Felix Gonzales-Torres, and I’m warming up to him, Felix, not Jeffrey, although I used to be Jeffery’s gardener, and set off his alarm I don’t know how many times while he was out of town, each time having to wait for the firemen to save me. Gonzales-Torres’ work is also very gestural, but simple. Not in a bad simple way, but pared down, just the material to say what’s necessary. One floor work is a mound of candy equivalent in weight to the weight of him and his partner (both now deceased). The viewer is invited to take a piece of candy from the pile, which is replenished by the gallery, and maintained at the specified volume. I got a little teary, eating the sweet candy, thinking of the dead lovers, the space that they formerly occupied, the unchanging space of the piece, and the lack of an artist’s hand or presence in the work… I didn’t see much from San Franciscans that was impressive, which has been the case for some time. Vic Muniz’s show at Bransten, large photographs of toy soldiers arranged to resemble famous paintings and portraits was impressive, like much of photography today that relies on awesome scale–clever and grand.

Monday I’m photographing a triathlete for OUT Magazine. They’ve commissioned 4 artists to photograph 4 different gay athletes. I’m not sure yet if I’ll be photographing mine in a straightforward manner, well, straightforward for me, or for a triptych, or just very oiled-up. In order to prepare for Mr. SF Triathlete, tomorrow I’ve had to cancel plans with Victor, poor dear, with whom I’ve been meaning to get together for forever. Hopefully next Friday he and I can see Mean Girls with Reese.

Reese appeared on stage Friday night, as the sad clown star of Caravan of Dreams at the Marsh. Afterward a lady praised his mournful rendition of Bad Luck in Love, to which he replied very seriously, “I studied 4 years with the Boy’s Chorus of San Francisco,” a total diva at 10.

So I’m seeing tons of movies these days, and need to go, actually to watch Sam Fuller’s Pickup on South Street, which has one of the top ten screen deaths–Thelma Ritter’s at the hand of a cowardly Commie.

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