new york city
This past weekend, I participated in the Washington Square Outdoor Art Exhibition in Greenwich Village, New York City. I woke up on Saturday morning with only one hour of sleep, as I had stayed up working until five in the morning. I was building a rack in the back of my pickup, in order to transport all of my paintings back and forth between my home on Long Island and Manhattan. At six in the morning, as I began to drive, I decided to take a bit of a detour. Ocean Parkway is a road that runs along Fire Island, the barrier island that runs along the bottom of Long Island. This parkway runs for fifteen miles, with the ocean about thirty to a hundred feet away to your south, and the bay being the same distance to the north. It is one of my favorite things about living on Long Island. It is just amazing to be driving next to white sand beaches, and to be in Manhattan 20 minutes later. I parked the truck for a while, and just wondered what might come of my first artistic venture into Manhattan. Being that it was my first year in the show, I had no idea what to expect.
Having arrived in Manhattan, my booth took a while to pull together, as I hadn’t really done a dry run set up. But, once it came together, it seemed good enough. I know that presentation is important, but I just wanted the paintings to speak for themselves. And so, I opted for a very simple display, with a neutral colored background.
I was really lucky to begin the show with the best of news- my best painting had sold the night before (at eleven at night!) The painting, Anna, was purchased by a wonderful couple to whom I had given a pre-show viewing of my works. This couple is wonderful, they have already bought eight paintings from me in the past. They own several of my very best paintings, and I am so touched and flattered by their enthusiasm for my work. The word “supporter” should be reserved for people who donate 20 dollars to PBS every few years- these people are “enablers” for me, they are extremely generous patrons who have enabled me to travel back and forth between Italy and New York. Rather than get stuck in insincere, trendy themes, they have enabled me to paint what is genuinely on my heart.
What was even better is that their painting was selected by the jurors of the Salmagundi Club, and I received the award of “Third” in the entire Washington Square Exhibition. This was such an unbelievable honour, especially since it was my first year in the show. I can’t describe how much this pleased me, because I knew that this award would then be on the painting that I would bring to my collectors.
The show in Greenwich went so well, I met so many people from such different walks in life. One man, a linguist, had been in Tienanmen Square with his daughter on June 2nd, 1989, just a dayor so before the police began to charge the students on June 4th. Another woman had been in the music industry for decades, and had worked alongside some well known musicians. A hairdresser named Huck was the only hair stylist that was allowed to touch Joey Ramone’s hair (from the Ramones). Azir, a playwright from Brooklyn, will be posing for a portrait at some point in the near future. I’m going to a concert by a jazz vocalist named Michelle; I’ll be painting a fascinating, grey haired man from Barcelona named Andre.
And so, the weekend drew to a close. I was glad to be back in New York, back in the city.