Monday, October 13, 2008

Close Encounters of the Artistic Kind

This weekend I had the opportunity to go visit two of my best friends, Matt and T (Laura) Slagel, in their newish (they've been there for about a year now) home in Charleston. While traveling was a bit of a nightmare (I don't want to be in the vicinity of an airport for a while) and the weather wasn't great (rained for most of the weekend), we still got to have a great time in the city. One of the best parts of the trip was a "Taste of Charleston" art walk. T knows how much I love art and free food, so it was pretty much guaranteed to be fantastic. What neither of us knew was just exactly how fantastic.

To set this up properly, I must give a little background. Each art gallery (and there are a ton in Charleston!) had restaurants come and cater some hors d'everues and offer free libations (water and wine). You could consume as much or as little as you liked and view the different offerings of the artists in Charleston. I also think the hope on the artists' part is that you consume enough of the libations offered that while loosening up your tongue, it also has the same effect on your wallet. Some of the art galleries actually had the artists present so that you could speak to them about their work, which was very, very neat. Some of the pieces of art are more interesting than others, some more generic beach scenes. There were a few that I really responded to with their movement and colors. I kind of like to feel my art more than look at it, if that makes any sense. That is why I love modern art, like Jackson Pollock and Willem de Kooning. But none of the art that I saw in the first two galleries we visited even came close to that experience. But then we visited the third gallery.

Oh. My. Goodness.

First, as we start in to the gallery, walking up the stairs to it, the artist was there leading some people out and walked with us up to the gallery. Then as we get in to the gallery, it didn't take long to realize that it was actually the guy's apartment as well as his gallery. And then he started speaking. I have never felt so off balance my entire life. This guy was so passionate, so into his work, so into the creation process of his art work. He apparently has taken 4 years of his life to decode the four elementals to invent a new creation process with oils and acrylics that he can manipulate to his will and make them into whatever he desires. I am still trying to quite figure out what that means, but it was pretty intense from his description. And the art is absolutely beautiful - I am in love with it. He said that you wouldn't find anything else like it in Charleston, and he was right - I did not see anything that remotely resembled his work in any of the other galleries. But he spoke so fast, so passionately, and fired questions at all three of us without pause, that my brain felt like it was always three steps behind whatever he was saying. He called my feet "paws" while remarking on my chipped purple toe nail polish. He talked about balance and elements and movement and "pop" and my head was spinning and it was Africa hot in his apartment and I was so confused and then we were saying our goodbyes, got his card, and walked out into the relatively cool Charleston air. If you think of every stereotype there is for an artist this guy fit it, but he was so amazing.

He may be my soulmate, but like the 150% percent soulmate of the artistic, creative part of my soul. I don't think he would do anything for the part of my soul that loves sports and baseball (the best game in the world Josh Hayden). But it was a crazy experience and I loved/was confused by every minute of it. I don't know his name - the name on his card is Iamikan, but I just can't believe that that is his real name. But whoever he is, he made quite an impression, I am in love with his hella-expensive art, and I hope that I get to talk to him again some day.

Speaking of the sports part of my soul, the current LCS playoff series just confirms that there really is not a more exciting or dramatic game than a well-played baseball game. You just can't beat it. I am firmly on the Rays bandwagon and hope they beat the flippin' tar out of the cursed and hated Red Sox. Go Rays!

1 comment:

Josh said...

I'll choose to ignore the baseball comments (:)) and instead focus on what sounds like a cool experience with art and good wine! sounds like a cool trip. Shey is a big fan of Pollock (you've probably seen the movie with Ed Harris...if not, good stuff). i'm into some of the abstract and modern stuff too...maybe even the postmodern stuff. one of my favorites is Makoto Fujimura...quite amazing.

i hope you are doing well Lauren! my dad will be disappointed to know that you are rooting against his beloved Red Sox...but i used to pick my teams as a kid just to make my dad mad, so it's cool. (e.g. my dad liked the celtics, so i liked the lakers...good times!)

I hope work is going well...maybe we'll actually see you sometime?