Tomorrow night we open our 6th annual Crazy 4 Cult show, our favorite annual exhibit where artists are creating pieces based on their favorite cult movies, but this year it’s obviously a little different. We’ve decided to take the biggest step in our gallery’s history, and by far our largest investment, and move the show to New York City, in a beautiful space in the middle of the busy Meat Packing District. A lot of our loyal local buyers have expressed some sadness in us moving it clear across the country, so I wanted to just give a quick paragraph on what this temporary move means specifically to me.
My father was born in Brooklyn and lived in NY, until his 30’s - the age I’m at today. He WAS New York. He sounded New York. He looked New York. He always told me how easy I had as I floated in a swimming pool during 74 degree heat in the San Fernando Valley. He was right. I knew about Nathan’s, Macy’s front windows, Coney Island’s Cyclone, the Russian bath houses, how you get ripped off from three card Monte and the peep shows in Times Square (then how Giuliani didn’t understand the city when he banned them). I knew the candy store where my father hung out in Flatbush as a rough teenager, the Catskills where he had his first job, and the building where he learned his eventual profession in his 20’s - sales. My dad was my hero and NY was his land. Doing business here was his thing and it seemed hard. That’s how I got to live in the nice weather he couldn’t as a kid. I never saw it for 8 year old Jensen in his floaties going to school with celebrity’s kids.
My dad was able to see the first 5 years of the gallery before he passed. He just was barely able to see what this weirdo little pop culture art gallery idea had become. Moving this show to NY was to share this concept with a new coast - but it was also for my father. He worked so hard for me and he did it in New York. That’s where he learned it all. He did it in actual streets, with actual seasons and real people. I didn’t really, but I wanted to. I’ll probably live in LA my whole life to be honest, but doing business where my father did the same thing, is a BIG DEAL to me.
He would be so fucking proud of Katie and me. He wouldn’t even believe it if he saw it. Everyday I genuinely imagine what his face would look like if he could walk into the NY gallery and it makes me smile so big.
I ask that you come by tomorrow night, not just because we’re investing so much into this (BUT THAT’S A HUGE REASON, DUMMY) - but because the art is so good. The artists all made amazing pieces to debut in a city where they’ve never shown before. In the email where we invited our group of artists, we asked for our first “favor” ever, and we can’t thank them enough for what they’ve delivered.
I’ll be at the opening reception, with many of the artists, Thursday night, August 9th, from 6-9 PM (but 10 PM really). It’s at 64 Gansevoort in the Meat Packing District, where the Highline ends basically.
And you’ll see all the pop culture goodness tomorrow. In a real city. With real seasons. With real people. For my dad.
Yes, I’m a total sap anyway, but this CHOKED ME UP SO BAD. What a lovely, lovely tribute.
Guys, I’m so honored to be a part of these guys’ world … come check out our show. Jensen (and Katie and the rest of the gang) are the sweetest people ever. Seriously so supportive of artists, patient to a ridiculous degree (especially amazing considering they have to deal with us artists who can sometimes be FLAKES), and funny and imaginative as hell.
I don’t think they know this, but Jensen & Katie inviting me into 1988 — a fantasy of mine — changed a lot of things for me. Not just in getting new customers and clients, but it (and this is going to be SO CHEESY, but I’m already all choked up over here) made me really fall in love with drawing again. After my life’s work — everything, including TONS of unpublished work — was stolen with my computers over a year ago, I’d started to give up on art. I was so heartbroken at the loss that I literally didn’t even know how or what to start on again. A very successful friend talked me through many days of why-the-hell-am-I-an-artist?? misery, but it was in starting to work on these pieces for movies and TV shows and stuff that I had a passion for (and already found so much comfort in), that got me back up on the horse and made me realize I didn’t want to give it up. Now I can’t even imagine doing anything other than what I do now. I’m so blessed to have such a fun job where I get to express so much of my geekiness. And to be among so many other pop culture nerds like myself. Seeing everyone else’s work in each show is so inspiring and encourages me to up my game. :)
Those who know me personally, know that I had a really tough year last year … a lot of very painful things happened and I lost several beloved friends and family members. Getting to make what essentially amounts to professional “fan art” — for 1988, for private commissions, etc. — got me through a lot of that. I may be kinda the new kid on this block after all those years as the anonymous artist behind someone else’s brand, and I may not have the attention of the hardcore collectors — yet — but I’m enjoying every step of my climb up that hill.
SO COME OUT THIS WEEKEND! I hope this is their hugest show ever — they so SO deserve it. My tiny, simple piece will probably be overwhelmed by everyone else’s awesomeness*, but I’m just proud to have it in there.
Now excuse me, I have something in my eye. :)
*Clark Orr’s WILLY WONKA piece wins the show. Hands down. BEST. PIECE. IN. THE. SHOW. And I haven’t even seen everyone’s submissions yet.