Saturday, September 3, 2011

Itchy Mustache Finger, Speedy Pigeons. Faces Optional.

Virtual Mom was right: things feel better come morning. Steaming coffee bowl, more headstone papers with fixative drying out back, a little This American Life*  and now some Benny Goodman. How could it NOT be a good day?

*PLEASE do yourselves a favor, take two minutes to listen to the skit from the Neo-Futurists at 24:41-- one of my favorites EVER

So. To hop back a week to some more People's Art Fair . I really fell down on taking photos, didn't even take one of my setup, nor any crowd shots, friends, favorite artists. But I'll share what I have.

To start, when I looked up, this was what I was looking at, from my wobbly director's chair:
What you're looking at is a portion of the Russell industrial Center, one of a couple buildings, reclaimed from past manufacturing, to house artist studios. We were told that one unit  contained a medical marijuana growing set-up, which certainly answered our questions about that intermittent faint sweet smell, which was not quite the sweet smell of burning. Those of you who partake would have identified immediately, but Heaven Sent and I were a bit clueless and noticed customer comments in our booth ("It smells SO GOOD in here!") before we actually noticed the scent itself.

Shifting my gaze down to booth level, here's what I was treated with, all day for two days, when I forgot to NOT look over 6 inches. Joy. Insert here (hah!...unfortunate) my disclaimer
A preponderance of asses
 that a.) yes, I'm certainly a feminist and b.) I also appreciate a well-done nude. Some of my favorites were painted by Modigliani and Matisse though an artist pedigree is not needed for them to be acceptable. I think there needs to be a sense of respect there, even as, yes it's usually a welcome invitation for the viewer, right? I don't buy that only men are visual creatures. I think the body was made to be beautiful and pretty much all of us look. Whether in the straight or gay world, we assess, we appreciate, we dismiss.I guess what gets me here from the get-go is the preponderance of asses. Seriously? Textbook objectification, even moreso than a usual study of the female form.  Aside from the middle one (and a couple others, the painter shifted them around between the two back panels throughout the day), faces rarely made the grade. So many g-strings, so little time! Hard not to conclude that these were painted from magazine spreads or online softcore. Especially nice when guys came around (and some couples) and stood by me, to gaze at them throughout the day and evening. 
The painter (short guy/short pony tail/insert joke here haha!) and I chatted enough to establish civility (gorgeous weather, couldn't be better! One aisle over, there is no escape from the sun for those vendors, wow the parking lot is crazy-windy).

Later on I caught snippets of him talking about his "racier" paintings, something to the effect of them originating from photos that non-professionals took/had taken, online, in different cities. The tail-end (unfortunate punning is proving unavoidable) of the exchange was a remark along the lines of: "...Yeah, there's an interesting trend, more women are showing their faces in the photos. Which, fine by me, but if you were doing something like that, would you want people to see your face/know who you were?" Dude, if you think you're a rebel, that position couldn't be more traditionally aligned. Desire + denigration of the desired object. And yes, I know, as long as the photos were on the up and up, the subjects were adults and gave full consent, I got it, I got it. Ugh.

To extend the theme of gazing, so very much time was spent by glorying in the passing parade. It is motley and meandering, with the good-hearted, the appealing, the obnoxious, and the unfortunate (fashion choices, life, etc.) This parade was rich. There was an outcropping of  Theater Bizarre folk, with some strutting their gothy/steampunky/freaky glory and others not quite carrying it. The latter individuals were trying rather hard, their posture rigid with a simultaneous desparation to be SEEN in their freakiness and adolescent horror of same. 

Isn't she cute? So happy, funny. She has two mustache tats.
A wealth of tattoos, also running the usual gamut of quality, beauty, contentedness, rebellion and a dated need to have fake beastie claws ripping fake tears from the interior of one's rib cage. A pale, shirtless guy strode past, with the words "My Beast Is ME" tattooed down the right side of his torso. Upside: no need to buy a pet. 

I watch an extremely thin woman shuck off her shirt so she can show someone a detailed black-work tattoo covering 3/4 of her back; a guy sporting a utilikilt holds her clothes. 

Gazelle-like women wandered past, with their hair in curlers. Which was confusing until we figured out they were models for the fashion shows scheduled through the day.

one of two crazy peace-pants guys.
Ginger, one of my best friends, drops by midway through the day. I expect him to stay for 15 minutes, because usually his craft event visits are brief, but this time he stays for a good long while. He checks out pony tail's paintings and parks his nasty soda near my feet while he ventures out. I already know most of the artists he will drool over; I know him very well. He tells me about a prohibitively expensive rabbit shaped cookie jar he almost bought for me earlier in the day; I momentarily mourn not having this gem. He knows me very well. He returns to contemplate how much the health of his credit cards should be tested. Ginger loves spending money. We settle into watching the parade.

She wears the lashes every day, different colors.

One especially thin, leggy model with shorter platinum blond hair, short bright purple shorts and hot pink high heels can not stop walking past (not pictured). Is she practicing for the runway? But the walk is lacking in attitude. I label her "Pink Heels," while Ginger prefers "America's Next Top Model." "How can she be everywhere at once?" Ginger wonders. I'm sure I have seen her at least 20 times by fair's end.

A very large bearded man wearing a front-facing pack with a tiny dog in it comes into view. "Look at this guy," Ginger murmurs at my elbow. Seconds later this is followed up with, "Oh my god I *know* him!!" Ginger hops up and I join them. Ginger introduces me as his ex-girlfriend, which completely throws me, since we haven't gone out for 3?4? years. I grimace at him, wth?? And he backpedals. The dog is a 13 year old blind chihuahua, with one visible tooth. He bites his tongue when distressed. He docilely hangs in his pouch. The man is an old work friend from several lives back. 

Our attention is caught by pigeons repeatedly settling on some of the studio window ledges, high up. "Oh," says Ginger, "Someone's probably racing pigeons."

"Racing pigeons? People don't race pigeons. They keep them, they don't race them."

Ginger is otherwise convinced. "People do, they race pigeons." I can't remember the term carrier pigeons at the time, but this was what I wanted to reference.

Heaven Sent: "Mike Tyson raises pigeons!"

Ginger: "See!?!

Me to HS: "Racing, he's saying racing." And to G: "She said raising not racing." 

Both: "Oh."

This happily travels into the fact that her 13 y.o. son tries to get out of tutoring so he can watch his beloved Ellen talk show. Apparently Mike Tyson -- now sober and vegan! -- was recently on the show. 

Stand-out Tyson quote (approximation), uttered while gazing at old photos of himself projected on the stage screens, "Oh Ellen, there's nothing worse than a fat cokehead. You just don't think of cokeheads being fat, but some are and that's what I was. Nothing worse than a fat cokehead..."

Ellen, nodding: "No, there's nothing worse. Nothing worse than that."

And really, this is an odd note to end on, but the second Benny Goodman CD is done and if I don't hop in the shower, I'll be late for volunteering. The weekend was a fun one, definitely! The unexpected always arises, and usually I am glad for it. 

Happy Saturday, Everyone!


  1. hee, and the fact that she has TWO of them!

  2. Yes, that too!
    I must get a new
    Black mustache tattoo
    'Cuz just one won't do...