Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Kansas City 1999

It's been a fantastic experience preparing for the move to my new studio, I've had six weeks before the final move. I've already brought some things into a friend's storage space thank you, my friend!…. and in preparation for the final day of the move I've had a lot of time to go through everything in my studio and find good homes for the things I no longer need and examine everything I've amassed. 

   The gems from my record collection I've been posting along with snapshots from early on in my career. As  most art world people know, Bill Arning and I were boyfriends for 8 years, from 1994 to 2002 and Bill loved to take snapshots. Even before Instagram and Facebook he was always taking snapshots and giving me copies of the ones that I was in, Ive lost some things to basement floods and other clamities  but I was really thrilled to come across the group I'm posting here.These pictures are from New York:Neither/Nor at Grand Arts in Kansas City....one of the few times Bill curated me into a show. I don't see that with any regrets or remorse as it was very strange kind of a double edge sword to be dating a well-known curator as I was just beginning of my career. I met all kinds of fantastic people through him, which benefitted me enourmously and that was very helpful in getting my talents out into the world,  but some people were suspicious of any success that I might've received thinking it was a result of my famous boyfriend. 

   I remember very early on,  Bill decided to have an after party for a show he curated at a Gay Bar in the East VillageVillage called “The Bar" . I happened to have a self organized exhibition of my own paintings up at the bar and at Bill's party someone came up to me and said “Wow this must be so great to be getting shows like this because you're dating this famous curator” ....... I think this guy was serious, maybe he didn't know that it was really easy to get a local bar that you patronize to put up your paintings, anyway, it was clear that some people had some kind of suspicion about any success I would achieve. ...so although Bill and I did not talk about this a lot it was clear that he was not going to be curate me into every show he was doing and I was fine with that. I wanted to be recognized for my own talents and really did not want people to be suspect of my career for any reason, I figured my talent can speak for itself. 

 In 1999 Bill organized an exhibition for Grand Arts in Kansas City called "New York: neither/ nor " and I'm really glad he curated me into this because the whole lot of us got to go out there and spend a week in Kansas City putting up this exhibition and having as much barbecue as we could possibly stand and having rooftop parties, smoking like crazy. In most of these pictures Bill and I have cigarettes in our hand and not sure where this happened but it one point we snuck Rachel Harrison into a men's room…. maybe it was at the "Dixie Belle" the fantastic Drag Bar in KC,  I'm not sure where but in any event it was really fun trip and a great exhibition, I’m really proud to be part of it .

 On my way to work at The Museum of The City this Sunday morning here in NYC and I think seriously about so many opportunities I've had and made the right discussions or maybe it seem like the right ones at the time, but certainly no regrets….there are things I want to achieve that I haven't achieved yet and I do my best not to beat myself up over that . I've been doing the best I can with the tools I had at the time and now I try and see every challenge is a new set of doors, a new set of experiences to learn from. It’s taken a long time for me to get over my fears of both success and failure and accept my God-given talents and feel I am  worthy of them and just plain own who I am....I like myself, I'm a pretty good guy....

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