Sunday, May 31, 2009

From Rags to Bitchin' (Meme of Fame 3/7)

Bleeding Heart, acrylic on canvas, 24" x 48"
private collection, Lafayette, Colorado


OK, for starters, this time I have an excuse for not posting in a while, not visiting your blogs, and not responding to your generous blog comments. My sister had a total hip replacement and I flew to visit her and my mother. She's coming along, but what an ordeal! The surgeon delicately described the situation in the vicinity of her pelvic bones as "a train wreck," but he does avow she is on her way to being far better off than before the procedure. Yes, the indicators are this is the case. Please nonetheless send healing energy in this direction:


What we're aiming for is for things to stay in place long enough for Donna to heal, regain some strength, and be back on her feet (literally.) I have faith. She's tough and determined.

I am now going to pick up where I left off in the Meme of Fame series, although in today's installment I have altered the name of the (somewhat) famous party so as to avoid litigation.

Kevin L, Marty Award Winner, Best New Menswear Designer on the West Coast. Purchased a series of small male nudes from our San Francisco gallery, along with one in-your-face, larger-than-life, male nude. Kevin was up for the fashion award when he bought these. Confided in me he was pretty sure he would win and wanted his house to look fabulous for the celebration party. He won. The house looked fabulous. The revelers adored the colossal painting of the naked man.

Then things began to reverse themselves. Kevin's clothing company's earnings began shrinking. Kevin had an artistic soul which yearned for an outlet other than sweater vests. Kevin himself crashed and burned out at the age of 30. Put his house on the market, told me he wanted out of the "rag trade" and to move back home to southern California and pursue a career in photography. His real estate agent said the big naked man had to go before he began parading prospective buyers through the house. Kevin asked me to buy the painting back. I refused. Where the hell would I hang such a thing? In the children's playroom? I advised Kevin to store the painting until his house was sold, then haul it to the new location. (I'd been trying to get rid of that thing for better than a year. It was a beautifully accomplished painting, yes, but the market for male nudes is limited, let alone six-foot-tall male nudes.) Enough time had lapsed since the transaction that Kevin didn't have a leg to stand on. He pitched a hissy fit, tried to read me The Wright Act. I stood my ground, much to his annoyance. He stalked out of the gallery and I've never seen him since. His parting words: "Your shoes are fabulous, but your attitude is sheer frump." *

And for the record, Keven did re-invent himself as a photographer, and he still does a little fashion designing too. I've seen his stuff in the big department stores and it does have flair. If I were a man, I would wear it. Truth be told, I have worn it. I've been known to rifle through Bennie's side of the closet, searching for his one shirt by Kevin. It's, if you can imagine such a thing, inspired by bowling shirts AND the paper cutouts of Henri Matisse. High-brow culture meets low-brow culture. And the buttons are to die for. Kevin, he always had a way with buttons.


*Not really. I made that up. But, God, I wish he'd said that. How I wish he'd said that.

97 comments:

self taught artist said...

wow what a story!
for one, your sister is lucky to have you help her recover. best wishes to you all on that one.
then the art story....incredible to have someone be that determined you buy something back. what a character...and i loved the line you put in there. would love to see that shirt you sneak on but guess that would be too big of an invasion of privacy :)

San said...

Paula, I'm glad you enjoyed the story.

I'm back from visiting my sister. For this "leg" of her journey, she's chosen to be in a rehab facility where she is receiving physical therapy every day.

Mary Ellen said...

Great story - and I wish your sister well.

Maggie May said...

Hope your sister continues to get well.
Quite a story that, San!

San said...

Thank you, Mary Ellen. I'm pleased to make your acquaintance. Very pleased.

San said...

Maggie May, it's really good to see you around these parts. I'm off to yours...

Sniffles and Smiles said...

Great post!!! You have such wonderful stories!!! And you tell them so well!!! I've loved everyone that I have read!!!! Thanks for stopping by my place, and for your lovely comment!! I am honored! So sorry to hear about your sister, and hope that she is well on the way to recovery from her recent surgery!!!!

San said...

S & S, it's my turn to feel honored. Thank you for visiting and leaving such an enthusiastic comment.

And for your well-wishing for my sister.

Angelynn said...

I wish your sister well! I am glad to have you back blogging. I so enjoy your stories and your art!
Love and Light, Angelynn

San said...

It's great to be back, Angelynn. And to have a visit from you makes it worth my while.

Leslie Avon Miller said...

I love these storie of the gallery side of art! Best wishes to your sister.

San said...

Thanks, Leslie, on both counts. The compliment and the well-wishing.

jsd said...

Prayers for your sister and your family!

The image made me think of 'ascending hearts' - that the heart was free.

As always a most fantastic story...and I suppose anyone who can by a six foot nude does have the audacity to try to sell it back.

Lee said...

Wonderful story this #3/7 San! I hope your sister gets all better. My mom had hip replacement a couple of years ago. It helped greatly with the pain but knee problems kept her from regaining full mobility. I hope your sis does better. Prayers ascending and energy flowing.

It's also good to hear that your past customer recovered his wellbeing. Maybe time will heal the rest of him.

Hugs!
Lee

SandyCarlson said...

First off, I wish Donna the very best and hope her recovery is smooth and quick.


Kevin L. had quite a wild ride, didn't he? Imagine the moxy to try to sell a painting back. Wow. I guess that kind of gumption also goes into a successful reinvention.

Celebration of Life said...

Hi San! I am very happy to have you back and telling your marvelous stories again! I also echo well-wishes for your Sis!
Love,
Jo

CoyoteFe said...

Healing light sent.
I love buttons, and am glad you have fabulous shoes. :-)

murat11 said...

San: I like that heart in the middle of the triptych, and I like that triptych around the heart. Naked hearts sell better than (most) 6-foot naked men.

I'm sure you've given me enough clues to run down "Kevin" "L," but I'm afraid I'm too out of the loop for a positive ID. My first Google session was not helpful.

You may call this one 3/7. I still call it at least 3.5, if not 4, in honor of Ms. C. Fisher. Much funnier than "Kevin" anyway. And in my book, if you really wished he'd said it, I think the statute of limitations on "truth" has run out. He did. Let's at least let the boy redeem himself somehow.

Prayers to Donna and all. That hip joint looks positively bionic.

Kim said...

San, I do hope your sister heals strong and rapidly! I understand knee replacements and shoulder replacements (my mother), but I understand the hip is the worst of all! I know she and your mother were so glad to have you there. We all missed you terribly, of course, but it could not be helped! I am sending lots of healing energy to your sister...and you! :)

Now this story is too, too! Yes, it is one for the books, you know? Of course you know, you have written it in the book! Tee Hee! Funny, in my mind I can see you there standing there with this huge nude male at your back and this highly creative fashion designer in front of you making the deal and then standing your ground when it comes to not taking that HUGE piece back. Of course in SF, the market was probably the best in the country for unloading that one, right? :) Great City...my favorite to be sure!

As always, thanks for the story. Keep us informed about your sister!

A New Beginning said...

Hey You have a great blog here, keep up!I wish your sister a speedy recovery and pray that she gets well soon!You take care.
When our loved ones are in pain,
they draw their enery from the encouragement that we give them by standing besides them in their hard times. Hope you be the strength for your sis, giving her the boost to recover soon:)

http://aspaceofonesown.blogspot.com

The Gossamer Woman said...

Much good luck to your sister, may she heal quickly, and thanks so much for the highly amusing story, which leads me to believe that celebrity type people have an enormous chip on their shoulder and feel a lot of entitlement. Glad you stood your ground. You're a tough broad and that is a compliment coming from me, believe me!

Hilary said...

Sending best thoughts for your sister for a speedy and full recovery from her surgery.

Your stories are wonderful and I loved your fuax-frump.. it's the new shabby-chic. ;)

Blue Sky Dreaming said...

Great story! I had a friend that painted male nudes using only ultramarine blue and cad yellow...ghastly haunting nudes?!
I wish your sister a good recovery!

Daryl said...

I am thinking I know who this is for real but I will keep mum. Actually if it is who I think, he really could have said that!

Sending your sister lots of healing energy

xo

Akelamalu said...

My Dad had a hip replacement two years ago and it has totally changed his life, for the better of course! I'm sending Reiki to your sister to help with the healing process. If she works hard at the physio I'm sure she will be out and about soon. I know from the experience of having a total knee replacement what hard work it is to get mobile, but it is so worth it. :)

San said...

JS, your prayers are much appreciated by all of us.

And I really love your observation that the heart is ascending. I believe the buyer of that particular painting would too. Thank you!

San said...

Lee, thanks much for the healing energy and the prayers. It really makes a difference.

I believe "Kevin" is doing fine these days.

San said...

Sandy, I believe you're on to something with regard to the gumption factor in the reinvention process.

And Donna and I thank you for your well-wishing!

San said...

Jo, it's good to be back, and to read your (as ever) kind comment. Thank you for your friendship.

San said...

Fe, my shoes aren't as fabulous as they used to be. This was many years ago, but yes, I did have a pair back then that "Kevin" really appreciated. He also said, "They look really uncomfortable." They were.

San said...

Paschal, I should've known you would go into a googling frenzy. How nice to know I squashed the facts sufficiently to keep Kevin a mystery man.

As always, I linger over your comments about my paintings. Are you sure you won't accept that publicist job? The money sucks, yes, but the perks are...the perks...they're...well...the perks...are mysterious as Kevin.

San said...

Kim, you're right. San Francisco would be the best city to sell such a thing. Even there, it proved extremely difficult. Except for "Kevin." I didn't twist his arm whatsoever. I'm sure after all these years he's glad he kept the painting.

Thanks for the healing energy and the supportive comments.

San said...

A New Beginning, welcome to the blog. I'm so glad you visited!

I will return the visit. I am most intrigued by your moniker, by your profile image, AND by the title of your blog.

San said...

Wow, Gossamer, you're making me blush. I never thought of myself as a "tough broad," buy hey, I LOVE the sound of it.

Thank you very much.

San said...

Hilary, yes, the time has come for 'faux-frump.' Especially in this economy. :-D

Thank you for your excellent well-wishing too.

San said...

Mary Ann, that's quite a vivid color combination. Those figures must have been other-worldly.

Thanks for the healthy vibes.

San said...

Daryl, mum, indeed is the word. "Kevin" could indeed have said that.

We appreciate the well-wishing. And I love your new profile image!

San said...

Akelamalu, I was once on the receiving end of Reiki and I am definitely a believer in its power! Thank you for that.

Sunshine said...

San, you are good sister.. she must be really proud of you... I enjoyed the painting bleeding love.. my fav song is LEnio lewis Bleeding in love so i feel very good connection with that song


Regards
Sabi

San said...

Sabi, what a stunning profile image! I see that beauty runs in your family.

How sweet that you connect my painting with that song.

david mcmahon said...

Most of all, I hope your sister is better, San.

And it's so good to see you update your blog!

Carol said...

I'm sending healing thoughts to your sister, San.

Good for you for standing your ground regarding the client's request for you to buy back the painting.

He had some noive!

sukipoet said...

I have heard that folks who have hip replacements are grateful. it is an amazing benefit to modern medicine. Sending light and love to your sister.

Re: the nude male painting. What a trip! Well, what I'd like to see are your shoes.:)

PS I republished the long post for which I received so many comments in case you want to see it.

Sparkling Red said...

I wish your sister all the best and a speedy recovery.

So, there's not much of a market for enormous male nudes? That comes as a surprise. Maybe it's just that I'm used to living in Toronto, where the Gay Pride parade takes place annually. I have the feeling it would have sold pretty quickly here.

Meg Wolff said...

San,
Best wishes to to your sister.

Isn't it interesting that he bought a nude painting, "The Naked Man" when he designs apparel. Kind of telling, isn't it? Probably not a coincidence.

Raven said...

Wonderful as always. Those shirts sound pretty cool.

Love your painting as always.

Hope your sister continues to do well. I will send reiki in the next day or so and would recommend that you send an email to Dennis Puffett. The man has a profound gift...and he works for free. If your sister would like to email me, I'd be glad to do a session for her (as a gift) at a specific set time.

Poetic Artist said...

I just found your blog and I like it. I hope is all is well for your sister..
Katelen

Cynthia said...

:-) ;-);-) naughty, funny and touching...I hope your sister heals quickly...may she be surrounded in a well spring of healing energy.
About "your man"- and buyers remorse...I agree with you "too bad-you wanted him and now he's yours!" ...Right now, I'm seeing Kevin being serinaded by a few bars of "I'm your man" (Leonard Cohen)...heh! Send him this link!
(http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=r24_T-HOcyg)
It's my first visit. Great place you have here. <3

James said...

Hope your sis heals well and soon. The only time I want to see a big naked man is when I pass the mirror after a shower.

San said...

Noive's the woid, Carol. Noive's the woid.

San said...

Suki, I'm glad you reposted that. I'll be over to read it. I'll wear the shoes. :-D

San said...

Spark, the sale happened in San Francisco, also a bastion of gay pride. Even so, that kind of painting just did not sell.

San said...

Meg, that coincidence was not lost on me either. Who knows?

San said...

Raven, those shirts were VERY cool.

Thank you for your generous offer and for the link to the other healer.

I will be in touch...

San said...

Katelen, thanks for visiting. I hope you'll return.

San said...

Cynthia--"a well spring of healing energy"--that's quite a lovely wish you're sending my sister's way. She and I thank you!

And Kevin thanks you for the link. :-D

San said...

James, thank you for your visit. And for painting such a vivid mental picture for me.

:-D Please visit again.

San said...

David, your well-wishing is always appreciated. So much.

Angel... said...

I hope your sister is well now. Few months back one of my colleague had a hip replacement too and now he is perfectly fine. I hope she will recover soon. Glad to hear that you are back. I always love your paintings and great stories.

San said...

Angel, I always enjoy your visits and I really appreciate your sending the good wishes.

Tammie Lee said...

Wonderful read Ms. San.
And the painting in this piece is wonderful.

Many blessing in your sisters healing!

San said...

Tammie Lee, thank you very much!

The Things We Carried said...

Hah! I am laughing so hard! This reminded me of my uncle, an eccentric lovable artist who filled his house with fabulous life sized female nudes (he painted), that his Catholic mother in law detested. She once told their guests, "My SIL is an artist, he doesn't truly see these women as NAKED."

My uncle laughed and said right then and there, "Yeah right!"

Anyhow, I LOVED the shoe comment, if only, if only! Wouldn't that have been FAB!

Hope your sis get to feeling better soon! Lovely you to go and be with her.

Sandi McBride said...

I'm so glad that her surgery is over and she is doing well...don't know that I could go thru that! Our prayers are with her and your mother...
I must say that while I enjoyed viewing the marvelous David, I certainly would not welcome him into my home...a museum is the perfect place for any such uhh...artistic? piece. Oh, no pun intended. And I spent many a night wrapped in old shirts of Mac's when the ship was out. Nothing made me feel more protected.
Congrats on Post of the Day Contender!
Sandi

chewy said...

Hmm... I'm guessing none of his fashion industry friends, in San Fransisco no less (if you catch my drift)... none loved the painting enough to buy it from him?

Another coincidence of your heart painting and my heart-ed critters? (smile)

Jeanne said...

How good that you could be with your sister during this trying time for her. Interesting view of the area in need of healing. I somehow missed that last post with the self portrait. Beautiful!

Shrinky said...

Oh, I do so love the way you craft a tale. Isn't it hilarious the sense of entitlement some people have? And that parting one-liner - of COURSE he said it - not out loud, but you heard it, sure you did!

Best wishes to your sis' - hopefully she has got through the hardest bit, I am sending out the light to her.

lime said...

yikes, i am sorry to hear about your sister. i hope she heals up quickly.

that life sized male nude....it wasn't of hugh jackman was it? (oh how your brief description of how i may have been concussed made me giggle!)

you do tell a wonderful story, embellishments and all!

Lynette said...

I'm wishing and hoping for a fast recovery for your sister, San. I know the physical therapy is probably rough to do but a good way to being back on her feet again. I loved the great story and your lovely work of art which you shared with us too!

JafaBrit's Art said...

First I want to send healing thoughts to your sis :) and hopefully with being rebab recovery is steady and fast.

As for the attitude because you wouldn't buy a painting back, hum! what a bloody cheek!!!

San said...

The Things We carried, that comment from your uncle's mother-in-law is a hoot. No, artists don't see what they paint. Never. :-D

San said...

Sandi, you've been through A LOT physically. Although I believe you could go through such a procedure, here's hoping you've paid your dues in the endurance department.

So you've been known to wear Mac's shirts--yes, it's a way of feeling closer, isn't it?

San said...

Chewy, I'm enjoying these co-incidences too.

As I'm sure you know, art buyers are special people. And rare. No matter the setting. But yes, I definitely get your drift.

San said...

Jeanne, thanks for your kind words about the self-portrait. I enjoy your visits.

San said...

Shrinky, my sister and I appreciate the light you're sending. You always emit light, woman. You shine!

San said...

You know, Lime, I believe it WAS Hugh Jackman. I'll contact Kevin and tell him he finally has a buyer!!!

San said...

Lynette, thanks for all of your positive energy and support. It's very appropriate that you're bearing light in your profile image.

San said...

Jafa, thanks for those good wishes for Donna.

And you Brits have a way with description--bloody cheek is bloody right!

Deb said...

Hi San ~ I am back from my 'blogging' break - I truly missed all of my blogging friends. Sending positive energy and thoughts your way and to your sister. Take care.

San said...

Deb, it's great to have you back. And even better to receive the good energy.

Dave King said...

Superb story. Great post.

The Moody Minstrel said...

Well, I seem to be coming into this a week late and a few thousand miles short, but I'll try to send some healing energy your sister's way anyway.

You have some truly amazing stories, San. And the most amazing thing of all is just how much adventure there is surrounding your gallery...especially since galleries tend to be stereotyped as places where things tend not to happen (except in the artistic realm)!

Casdok said...

Love the story and your painting. Hope your sister has a speedy recovery.

San said...

Dave, thank you. So much.

San said...

What can I say, Moody? I'm an adventure magnet.

Right. :-D

San said...

Thanks, Casdok. We appreciate that.

~Babs said...

LOVE this painting, San!
I am late to your post,,,but hope all is well with your sister.
Such a story spinner you are,,,always weaving the humor into the whole in a 'just right' way.
Great post!

San said...

Babs, I'm honored knowing you like the painting. Thank you!

And since my posts are rather few and far between of late, I don't consider you late in the least.

DILLY said...

Hewo San!
Hope be ok!
¬"

andrea said...

I would wear that shirt, too. I LOVE bowling shirts and Matisse. Where can I get one...? (I know I know -- I can't afford one anyway.)

Todd said...

Sending peace & healing thoughts to your sister!!

Loved your story!!! Do you have any great plans for summer?? Hasn't the weather here been simply fabulous!!!???!!!

Anna said...

Lol San you are best at your stories. Sending healing prayers in your sister direction...hope she will recover soon. My dad is on the list, but he is scared to do it, but as you said or the surgeon said, it probably will be better condition than he is now. Thanks for sharing your story San, you are awesome. Anna :)

San said...

Hewo, Dilly. I'm honored by your visit.

San said...

Andrea, I believe those shirts are long gone. Maybe Bennie will make you a deal. :-D

San said...

Todd, thank you for the peace vibes.

Yes, this is the nicest early June we've had in years. The rain is delicious, and those crisp mornings! The lavender is smelling great early this year. Plans for summer: keeping an eye on the other plants that are new this year, hoping they burst into bloom.

San said...

Anna, thank you for the good wishes.

Your dad has reason to be reluctanat. It is very invasive surgery. My sister was needing it in the worst way, however, so it wasn't a difficult choice for her. It's not the same with everyone.

San said...

Duh. I mean reluctant. Not reluctanat. Reluctanat does sound like a more intense version of reluctant. Maybe an accidental coinage?