Friday Dec 06, 2002
Moonchild in Hollywood
Why don’t I write “the” Universe?
In Buckminster Fuller’s world vocabulary, it was Universe, not “the” Universe; there was no need for using the definite article “the” before Universe—the word that described it all. He approached Universe with humility. After all, we don’t say we’re going to explore “the” nature. Bucky had a marvelous insight here and I pass it on to anyone who wants to the adopt the concept. You cannot go wrong if you do.
I was living in the Hollywood Hills some years ago when a friend told me about an exhibit at a local gallery that featured the work of a young girl, a prodigy of ten or eleven years old, who painted with a maturity well beyond her years or discernable experience.
I went to see the exhibit one afternoon.
The gallery was on busy La Cienga Boulevard and close to my favorite Starbucks across from the Beverly Center Shopping Complex.
I parked and went into the gallery with my bag that contained my stuff, color pencils, and a packet of small artworks. I began looking around for the exhibit, which turned out to be a series of prints on canvas. The art was good; the girl had a gift. I asked the gallery owner if there were any originals on exhibit. No, only prints. He went on to tell me how the girl was being managed and so on. He didn’t seem pleased. He went on to say, in confidence, that the girl’s art was a sham, but it sold. He went on to inform me that she was merely copying Picasso. I listened.
Then, suddenly, the gallery owner asked me what I thought about the girl’s work.
I told him that even if she were copying Picasso, her work was remarkable. Better to copy someone else, I added, than to copy your self. He put his hand to his chin and thought a moment.
“Are you an artist?” he asked.
I said that I am the very same.
He suggested that I stop in again so he could see my work.
I have a few small pieces in my bag if you’d like to take a look, I offered.
I took out about a dozen pieces, each five and one half by seven inches, that I did with ink and color pencil.
The gallery was empty and quiet except for us. He eyed each one of pieces carefully. After the last artwork, he said he loved them and would I like to have a show in his gallery.
I told him that would be great. We spoke about a few general business details and I made an appointment with him for later in the week where we could plan the exhibit.
I had gone into the gallery with the intention of seeing the young girl’s art and came out with an opportunity.
A few of my artist friends could not fathom that the gallery owner had asked me to exhibit. You have to ask them if you’re not well known, said one fellow artist in disbelief.
I certainly was not a household name, at least, not yet. I was, however, an adult prodigy and that is what the young girl artist and I had in common. We were separated only by time on the same web that connects us all.
And I have relative patience.»
Wow. Every entry is thought-provoking and tingling. This is a wonderful place.