Thursday, December 16th 11PM
Thursday, December 16th 11PM
Hello to my family all the way from Brussels! Thinking of you all while I’m here.
Just returned from the opening of the show and have had a wonderful time. It’s snowing in Brussels now, and before the show it was really coming down, large fat drops of it. Carl and I walked from the hotel to the show and I have to say, though I know my way (it’s a straight shot after all) the distance keeps fooling me. It seemed a short enough walk yesterday, but tonight it seemed to take forever! Anticipation will do that to you, I guess. There were throngs of people on the street, something to do with the government and something or other, and so we had to thread our way along in and out.
When we arrived at the gallery there were already guests viewing the work, and the wine and hors d’ouvres were making their rounds. Before entering the gallery I stopped to take a photo of the gallery entrance with a large banner of my painting “Remains”.
The snow was really coming down now. More people arrived throughout the evening and there seemed to be a nice and consistent number as well. Wine and champagne were in abundance and I spoke with quite a number of people I’d met during the signing the previous night.
Jean-Marc Lonjon introduced himself to me, and he is heading up the Paris gallery of Petits Papiers. I enjoyed speaking with him about the future of Petits Papiers and discussing other artists that they might bring to Paris and Belgium. The gallery here in Brussels is looking at moving into a new space by September of ’11.
I also met Xavier Lowenthal, artist and publisher whose work has also been shown at the gallery. After looking through my landscape paintings he insists I go to the Belgian coast to see the skies. He spoke of many painters who worked there, most notably James Ensor and René Magritte, both whose work I love, as well as many of the Flemish painters. He says I’ll never think about color the same way again. I’ll definitely need to go see this. I wish I had my paints with me! He identified very strongly with one of my paintings, insisting that it looked like his son, which it did. It was my painting “War Child” of my own son when he was quite young, sitting on a cluttered battlefield struggling to hold up a large doughboy helmet. This piece began as a demonstration piece while I was teaching at Virginia Commonwealth University.
Met Christophe Poot who gave me a couple of notecards with his work on them. One of a very confident pen drawing, the other of a mysterious monotype. Both are from books of his, I believe, and both beautiful pieces. He is currently working on a graphic novel about a pianist, though he didn’t elaborate on the content too much. Would love to see some of that work.
Received many compliments in the work and it seems some sales were made. Had my picture taken with Alain Huberty owner of the gallery, in from of several of the paintings. They really did put on an incredible show.
After the show many of us went to dinner nearby at a place that excels in pasta dishes. Lots of interesting art talk with Carl Wykaert, Jean-Marc Lonjon, Alain Huberty, Xavier Lowenthal and Christoph Poot. Xavier gave me a wonderful history of the names of my children. Fascinating. And we discussed the differences in sequential art in America as opposed to Europe. Carl and I got into a discussion about morality. He’s working on a philosophical book and spoke of the nature of logical thinking and how if one takes certain logical though processes to their logical conclusion, they veer away from ethical or moral strictures, which surprised him. And the struggle is what to do at that point. Of course many continue blindly with the logical approach without seeming to register that the intent has been lost. Very interesting stuff, which I hope to continue with him tomorrow on the train to Paris.
The new space that Alain is going to move into sounds very nice and spacious. Three floors of gallery space will allow for the showing of more work and larger pieces. It’s also going to be in a “better” part of town which will, they hope, increase the number of customers. Quite a number of my works will be kept from this show when it comes down and taken to Paris so that more work can be represented there.
So, after much merriment and a wonderful dinner of wild boar, I walk back through the lightly falling snow to my hotel to get ready for Paris tomorrow.
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