Tuesday, May 19, 2009
As I walk down the dark dead end street towards my studio, I feel the cold wind whip across my face and tear my eyes. It's another winter night in my urban landscape. The yellow streetlamps flicker on and off, like summer fireflies searching for their lost loves. The silence of the night is only broken by my heavily booted feet which echo down the cracked sidewalk. The alley cats rustling through garbage cans pause for a moment as they hear me approach. One looks out at me over the top of the dented tin barrel and licks her chops as if wishing if she was a just little bit larger, then maybe I'd pass as dinner instead of the rotten banana peel under her paw.
My shadow grows longer as the street itself grows narrower; my hands search my pockets for the key as the distance between me and my destination grows shorter. I look up at the starless black sky as I arrive at the mammoth overhead door that leads into my space; the faint sound of a Spanish love song can be heard through the window of one of the tenants above.
I take a deep breath as I slide my key into the lock of door, turn and push.
Like every night, I enter into total darkness and have to stand motionless for a moment at the entrance while my pupils widen in search for some hidden light. In the past, I would just walk carelessly into the dark, but after a few bruised shins and close calls, I've decided patience is a safer virtue then diligence. And as I wait in the dark, I welcome the heat stored over from last nights visit, and unwrap myself from the many layers of my winter garb. Finally, I begin to make out the familiar bulky shapes of the overturned desks to my right, and the vertical line up of ladders to my left. I move forward, deeper into the space, greeting some of my possessions as I walk past (hello armchair, hello clock radio, hello paint bucket). When I reach the back of the space I have to feel up the concrete wall until my fingers find the light switch. A burst of blue light streams across the studio as I flip the switch. Everything looks eerily vintage, like a scene from some lost silent movie, while the gallery lighting warms up and slowly turns from blue white to clear white light.
Now with proper light, I survey the space making sure everything is how I left it. Nothing missing, I turn my attention briefly to the clock radio and twist the dial. Brahms fourth symphony pores out of the tiny speaker and fills the void my art can't reach. I punch my imaginary work clock and pull my armchair forward to face my 15 ft long display wall. I sit down and stare up, my eyes darting from one painting to another, from one drawing to another, I try to piece together their meanings; the wall itself resembles a scrapbook more and more every night then a gallery wall. Finally I am reminded where I left off the previous night and pull the tacks off the drawing of a woman screaming in ecstasy, or was it terror? That I'll decide tonight.